Opel approves new business plan but without concrete details image

Today, the Supervisory Board of Adam Opel AG has approved a business plan that will be instrumental in bringing Opel back to sustainable profitability.

“The plan approved today paves the way for a strong future for Opel. GM stands behind Opel and supports management and labor,” said GM Vice Chairman Stephen Girsky in a statement on Thursday.

But – there are no concrete details.

Nothing about Opel’s Bochum plant; Nothing about jobs; nothing concrete about PSA Peugeot Citroen alliance, after Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported that Opel might build future versions of the Citroen C5 and Peugeot 508 cars at its Ruesselsheim plant in Germany.

The plan addresses:
 Investments in the Opel/Vauxhall product portfolio, combined with a new sales strategy
 A revised brand strategy
 Plans aimed at reducing material, development and production costs and further leveraging synergies from the alliance between GM and PSA Peugeot Citroën, and
 A redefined export and market expansion strategy

These elements will be instrumental in returning to positive results for Opel.

To reduce labor costs, managers hope to start replacing any departing workers on their permanent staff with temporary labor and shifting some people not employed on the assembly lines into other, less well compensated wage contracts.

The business plan must reflect the aim to gain market share in Europe over the long term,’ Armin Schild, the head of union IG Metall said, adding that the union was well aware how difficult this would be given its expectation that the western European car market would continue to shrink in the foreseeable future.

“I don’t see huge prospects for building cars in Germany for sale overseas. This is a necessary measure of flexibility to support plant utilization, but the battle for the future of Opel will be won in Europe,” said Schild.