A number of car makers are cutting production in Europe in response to falling sales. General Motors has shut its Opel factory at Bochum in Germany for two weeks, stopping production of Astra and Zafira models. Another plant in Eisenach, where the Opel Corsa is made will soon halt production for three weeks.
Car industry analyst Professor Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer said: “This is the financial crisis that we are feeling now, because consumers are looking more closely at making decisions on long-term investments, such as buying a car. Secondly, what has happened in the USA is about to push markets worldwide into a recession. And recession and selling cars don’t go together at all.”
Opel said it expects to build 40,000 fewer cars than initially planned this year and it is looking at possibly suspending work at a Spanish plant and two in the UK. Ford’s German unit is also planning to reduce production and lay off temporary workers. Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz brand, BMW and Volkswagen’s Seat and Skoda are also cutting output.