This content is not available in your region

Opel-Vauxhall closure uncertainty continues

Opel-Vauxhall closure uncertainty continues
Text size Aa Aa

The uncertainty continues for thousands of workers at Opel and Vauxhall.

US parent company General Motors — fed up with years of steep losses — is pressuring its European division to close two plants. Germany’s Bochum and Britain’s Ellesmere Port are in the firing line.

But there was no decision as the carmaker’s European board met on Wednesday, only a statement issued afterwards that restructuring talks continue.

There are seven plants in Europe. Three in Germany, two in Britain, one in Spain and one in Poland.

Last year the 19,600 workers produced 1.27 million cars and vans.

Management has said that no factories will close until 2014, but ahead of any closure decision, the political protests have already started.

Germany’s Environment Minister, Norbert Röttgen, who faces an election in the state where Bochum is located complained about the speculation over its future: “Opel Bochum shouldn’t be treated like this. The plant and its employees deserves fair consideration and a fair decision by GM. Opel should get the chance to prove its quality and its international competitiveness.”

GM is not alone in its overcapacity problems in Europe where economic weakness has hit sales.

Industry observers expect closures by other struggling carmakers like PSA Peugeot Citroen, Renault and Fiat.