GM Wants to Close Plants in Favor of Low-Cost Countries image

GM plans to transfer some production away from the UK and Germany to Eastern Europe, Asia and Latin America in order to reduce losses at Opel.

GM hopes in the next few years to build 80% of its future production growth in low-cost countries like Poland, Russia, China, India, Mexico and Brazil and export 300,000 vehicles to Europe from Mexico, Korea and China by 2016, trying to drastically cut its losses at Opel and its U.K. subsidiary, Vauxhall. To reach this goal the company has to close its Bochum, Germany, and Ellesmere Port, U.K., plants, planning to reduce the number of car-manufacturing platforms to less than 15 from the current 30.

Although the company didn’t officially comment on this decision and stated that it keeps its plant and employee count unchanged, Opel’s CEO said that there are “no taboos” about what the division might need to do in the long term.

“We are talking about how we can make the business profitable, but there are no factory closures on the agenda,” Opel CEO Karl-Friedrich Stacke said in an interview. “We have a clear agreement that guarantees factories until the end of 2014 and it is still valid.”