Opel Bochum closure may cost €1bn image

Opel is negotiating a deal with labour unions to close the which has 3, 300 workers, after production of the Zafira Tourer multi-purpose vehicle ends in exchange for guaranteeing German jobs through 2016.

“Under the current economic conditions and outlook, there will be no further product allocation for Bochum after the Zafira goes out of production,” Doris Klose, an Opel spokeswoman, said by telephone. “It is currently being negotiated with the unions whether something else might be produced there.”

The company has earmarked 500 million euros ($635 million) for the possible closure of its plant in Bochum, Germany, yet the cost could be higher, according to Rainer Einenkel, who heads the plant’s works council, the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung reported in a preview of an article to be published today.

The total cost could be 1 billion euros when environmental clean-up costs are factored in, Einenkel told the newspaper.

European car sales for May reflected weak consumer confidence in the crisis-hit region, with the two biggest markets Germany and France posting falls from last year even though the United Kingdom recorded a sturdy gain.

New car registrations in the 27-nation European Union dropped 8.7 percent to 1.107 million vehicles in May.
GM lost $15.6 billion since 1999 in Europe.