GM to Close Opel’s Bochum Plant at Beginning of 2015 image

GM might stop auto production at Opel’s Bochum plant in Germany sooner than planned as the automaker tries to make more cost cuts.

Talks between Opel’s management and workers regarding the Bochum plant have begun in June 2012, with the decision that the plant will be closed in 2016. On Tuesday, January 22nd, GM Vice Chairman Stephen Girsky sent a letter to employees reminding them that the current labor deal only applies to the Bochum factory, where the Zafira Tourer MPV is assembled, until January 1st, 2015.

“The situation in the entire European (car) market is still catastrophic,” Girsky wrote in the letter. “That’s a difficult precondition for forthcoming negotiations” with German staff.

He added that although there are proposals to manufacture the next generation Mokka subcompact here, the automaker’s management will not budge from its plans to shut the plant and lay off 3,000 workers. By the end of this day there will be a decision taken regarding the future of Opel’s plants in Germany in Eisenach, Bochum, Kaiserslautern and its Ruesselsheim-based headquarters. Conclusions will be officially announced in February.

“Our Germany Plan must be completed by then,” said Girsky.