Opel Plans to Close Ruesselheim Plant for 20 Days image

GM’s Opel plans to stop production at its Ruesselheim plant, for 20 days this year.

In 2011 GM lost $747 million in its European operations and plans to apply for subsidies under the German government’s short-work program if workers and management agree with shortened working hours. The agreement will need approval from the works council too. According to the plan the aumaker wants to close the Ruesselsheim factory for 10 days beginning September 6th and for other 10 days in October and November.

On Monday, August 21st, Opel announced it was about to sign an agreement with workers at the Ruesselsheim and Kaiserslautern plants, to cut working hours. No details were given about this agreement. The 16,500 employees from the two plants might sign a deal this week, allowing for implementation on September 1st.

The news comes after GM added last week an 8.15-megawatt solar array on the rooftop of the Opel Russelsheim plant, in an attempt to double its global solar output. The array is one of the largest in Europe and is equivalent to 32 soccer fields. It will generate 7.3 million kW hours from sunlight, which means a reduction of 3,150 tons of CO2 annually.