Management at the German car-maker Opel are considering a restructuring plan which, it is feared, could include significant job-losses and the closure of one or more factories. Owned for 80 years by General Motors, Opel is just one of the American giant’s European brands on the verge of collapse. The global financial crisis has slashed demand for cars, threatening the industry on both sides of the Atlantic.
Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel said: “We think we should get the restructuring plan from Opel and General Motors within the next few days in order to discuss it with the different German states where Opel has factories. The economy minister has made the necessary preparations. We are aware of the worries the Opel workers have.”
Bosses in Detroit say they need to cut costs by nearly a billion euros. GM’s european division lost 2.2 billion last year. 15,000 Opel workers marched at the company’s German headquarters demanding their American masters scrap plans to close European factories.