GM unveils plan for Opel: 8,300 jobs slashed image

Around 8,300 jobs will be slashed in Europe, Opel boss Nick Reilly said on Tuesday, as he unveiled a long-awaited plan for the future of the ailing General Motors unit and its 50,000 employees.

Fewer than half the cuts, or 3,911, would take place in Germany, Reilly said, while confirming the shut down of a plant in Antwerp, Belgium with the loss of 2,377 jobs.

Spain would also be affected with the loss of 900 jobs, while more than 500 were slated to be cut in Britain.

“We have no time to waste,” Reilly told a news conference in Frankfurt, near Opel’s headquarters in Ruesselsheim.

Raising money from private investors is “not an option,” he said.

Opel’s plan to invest 11 billion euros ($15 billion) in new models and restructuring over the next five years is only possible if the company is able to become profitable again, Mr. Reilly said.

While presenting an upbeat picture of Opel’s prospects, Mr. Reilly also offered a glum assessment of the European auto market. Opel’s plan is based on projections that automakers will sell 13.4 million cars in Western Europe this year, 20 percent less than in 2007.

State aid

Reilly said that Opel needed 3.3 billion euros ($4.5 billion) to finance its rescue plan and is seeking 2.7 billion euros from the countries where Opel has operations.