Opel to stop Astra production in Germany! image

German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports that Opel will stop making the Opel Astra model at its plant in the German town of Ruesselsheim.

Staff representatives at Opel said on Monday ending production of the Astra compact at Ruesselsheim, Germany, would be a “devastating mistake”.

The Astra hatchback is, along with the Corsa, Opel’s most important model, with an annual production volume of around 330,000.
If plans to remove it from Rüsselsheim go ahead, one unionist said it would be comparable to stopping production of the Golf at a Volkswagen factory.

GM’s European Opel and Vauxhall brands, Karl-Friedrich Stracke said GM produced only 18,300 Astra cars in Ruesselsheim last year, compared with 149,800 vehicles of Opel’s flagship Insignia model and another 12,600 cars of the Insignia’s sister model Buick Regal for the U.S. market.

Last week, Stracke said it plans to shift production of around 10,000 of the 30,000 Astras produced at Opel’s Ruesselsheim, Germany factory annually to the plant in Gleiwtz, Poland.

The Ruesselsheim plant is already on a four-day week due to overcapacity, and jobs could be cut at the Polish factory if capacity there isn’t better utilized, the report says.

On Thursday, GM reported a first-quarter loss of $256 million for its European division compared with a $5 million profit a year earlier. GM’s first-quarter profit fell 69% to $1 billion.