Opel’s Bochum plant to be closed in 2016 image

Opel told its 3,000 employees from the Bochum plant in Germany that it has no alternative but to end vehicle production in 2016.

Despite the carmaker’s efforts to rescue car manufacturing at the plant, there is no other solution but to shut it down at the end of the current Zafira’s life cycle. “The main reasons are the dramatic declines in the European car market and the enormous overcapacity in the entire European auto industry,” Opel said in a statement.

In June, Opel announced that no successor to the current Zafira is planned to be allocated in Bochum in view of the shrinking European car market and the overcapacities in the automotive industry. However, the warehouse in Bochum will continue to offer jobs beyond 2016 and could be expanded, Opel said in the release.

“We have the clear intention to secure a significant number of Opel jobs in Bochum, in the warehouse and possibly in component manufacturing,” said GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky in the statement. About 430 people work in Bochum’s warehousing operations in a joint venture with partner Neovia Logistics Services (formerly known as CAT Logistics).

The number of employees at the warehouse could grow to 600 or more as a result of negotiations, an Opel spokesman told Reuters. For Germany, Bochum is the first plant to close in decades.