Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
December 10, 2012
Opel announced today that it will close the Bochum plant in Germany in 2016 when production of the current Opel Zafira ends.
"Despite rigorous efforts, there was no success in changing the situation. 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 today.
The closure is part of a long-term recovery plan called Drive Opel 2022. Under the plan, Opel will work on trying to be more cost efficient, improving the brand's image, strengthen market share, and entering new markets and segments. The plan also says by 2016, Opel will have 23 new models and 13 new engines.
The closure of Bochum also means the loss of 3,300 jobs. Opel says they will preserve some jobs in its Bochum warehouse and is looking at allocating new component production to the region.
Local labour leader Rainer Einenkel says the union is hopeful about trying to save Bochum. Meanwhile, the German government expects GM to provide severance packages for the workers.
"It's a severe blow that affects a lot of people and their families and the Bochum region as well. The German government has the expectation that the parent company General Motors will do everything possible to find socially acceptable solutions," said Georg Streiter, spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Source: Opel, Automotive News Europe (Subscription Required)
Press Release is on Page 2
Opel plans to end car production in Bochum in 2016
- Warehouse to remain in Bochum and probably to be expanded
- New component production could be allocated in Bochum
- Initiative "Bochum Perspective 2022“ to secure existing and create new jobs
- Goal: No forced redundancies before run-out of current Zafira
- Attractive separation packages
- Germany stays backbone and home of Opel
- Announcement is part of long-term plan “Drive! 2022”
Ruesselsheim. Adam Opel AG management today informed its employees that vehicle production is planned to end in Bochum at the end of the current Zafira lifecycle – expected in 2016. 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. Despite intensive efforts this situation could not be changed.
The warehouse in Bochum will continue to offer jobs beyond 2016 and could be expanded. Additionally, Opel is negotiating with the employee representatives to allocate a new component production in Bochum. On top of this, the working group “Bochum Perspective 2022”, which was recently established by Opel, has the objective to focus on site development, to secure existing jobs and create new ones in the City of Bochum and the entire Ruhr region. “Bochum Perspective 2022” is composed of representatives of local and regional government, along with leaders and innovators from labor, industry, academia and financial institutions located in North Rhine-Westphalia. Opel will support the initiative financially and personnel-wise.
“Building on the Bochum Perspective 2022, we have a clear goal for securing a significant number of tariff-bound jobs at Adam Opel AG. They include positions in our warehouses and potentially component production. Opel takes its responsibility seriously and will implement still-necessary job reductions in the most socially responsible way. The goal of our negotiations with the works council is to refrain from forced redundancies before the run-out of the current Zafira,” said Steve Girsky, GM Vice Chairman, Chairman of the Opel Supervisory Board and Acting President of GM Europe.
"Germany is our most important market and with about 20,000 employees the backbone and home of our brand. And this will stay this way in the future,” Opel Deputy CEO Dr. Thomas Sedran said. Opel also has the responsibility for its independent dealers; in North-Rhine-Westphalia alone there are 320 Opel dealers who employ about 5,300 employees.
This move is part of the company’s long term plan “Drive Opel 2022” which targets break-even results by mid-decade. Opel plans to increase its revenue and variable profit significantly by more cost-efficiency, re-focusing its go-to-market strategy, improving the image of the Opel brand, strengthening the quality of market share and entering new markets and segments. From 2012 to 2016, Opel will launch 23 new models and 13 new engines in total.