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Bochum Opel plant set to close after 2016
Photo: DPA

Bochum Opel plant set to close after 2016

Published: 08 Dec 2012 11:09 GMT+01:00
Updated: 08 Dec 2012 11:09 GMT+01:00

US auto giant General Motors has decided to stop auto manufacturing at its Opel plant in Bochum, western Germany, after 2016, the head of the works committee said on Friday, a move that could mean the plant will close.

"Management announced that there will be no more auto production after 2016," at the plant which employs 3,000 people, works committee chief Rainer Einenkel said, adding that the decision would be discussed on Monday.

A spokesman for the factory confirmed the works committee meeting on Monday but declined to comment on Einenkel's comments or provide details on the meeting's agenda.

Built in 1962, the Bochum plant manufactures the Opel Zafira model and has regularly been cited as a site to be closed as GM Europe tries to get to grips with its surplus production capacity.

In June, GM said the plant would remain in operation until the end of the Zafira's production run, at the end of 2016.

Opel, a troubled GM unit, has three other German factories, its main plant in Rüsselsheim, near Frankfurt, and one each in Kaiserslautern, western Germany, and Eisenach, central Germany.

On Wednesday, Einenkel said that Opel would return to a program of shorter work shifts in Bochum owing to weak sales of the Zafira in Europe.

AFP/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:11 December 8, 2012 by smart2012
Germany..... WAS...... booming..

Well done Verkel!!!

And btw, more closures to come..
13:16 December 8, 2012 by pepsionice
Car sales....in general (not just Opel) have already peaked out. Germans are pushing their old vehicles an extra year or two. It's part of a successful society, saving every penny and then buying a new vehicle after eight to ten years.

If the government wanted to effect sales....then offer up a special discounted sales tax deal for six months. Course, people would buy a ton of cars for six months, then go back to their long protracted wait for another vehicle.
14:14 December 8, 2012 by Rischart99
Ah smart2012, of course you could follow the Hollande route (your favourite) threaten expropriation of assets and watch all of your industry slowly disappear. Car sales have slowed from very high levels, GM is not a great parent, when it went bust billions of loans from European operations to the US parent were written off just to give the patents back to Opel. Not great news but really this industry is survival of the fittest and fortunately most German manufacturers are better off than most.
14:48 December 8, 2012 by IchBinKönig
I don't think Smart2012 gets it... but what else is new.

Germany was booming on a false pretense. It assumed everybody was good for the loans they were receiving to buy German goods. Without the loans = No German Boom. Hell, I could set Germany Booming, too! Just Loan me 1 Trillion, I'll show you. But it still won't not a real boom, Its just more debt.

Hell yeah, more closures to come. This is just one of Obama's failed projects.
14:55 December 8, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
closures closures and more closures. Get used to this in Germany. Dr. Merkyl and Mr. Hyde along with her corrupt banking buddies have screwed you as well as the rest of the EU.
15:05 December 8, 2012 by IchBinKönig
No doubt the Merkel has screwed us. But Why would you want the screwing to continue? Its time to end the screwing and get back to what reality looks like...

But Bfa and Smart2012 don't want that. They want the screwing to continue 'Germany was Booming' lol. Yeah, it was a fake boom, get over it.
15:08 December 8, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Nope I want the screwing to end but so long as Merkyl and her banking buddies rule to roost and decide what is what in the Eurozone we will continue to be screwed. As someone pointed out to me in another thread the alternatives in Germany are not much better. So IchBin, what do you propose as a way of change?
15:19 December 8, 2012 by IchBinKönig
Well, now you have a legitimate gripe. You see, Creditors control those in its debt. It is no secret that Germany had an interest in a tightly Unified Europe. A close union controlled centrally was not an option initially, the Sovereign countries wanted to remain sovereign. Well, debt helped change all that.

So there you go, formerly Sovereign countries are now in Indentured Servitude to Germany and its banksters. This is what you Europhiles wanted. We tried to tell you what was coming, but you wouldn't listen. You were convinced over your superiority, but reality has set in.

Now, for change? How about ending the madness! Let countries follow in the steps of Iceland after its collapse. Forget all the lies the EU tells you. They just don;t want to lose their investment. The best thing for Greece is to leave the Union, allow the failure to reshape a better and more competitive Soverein Nation. Its time to rebuild, not continue and bailout the failure.
15:29 December 8, 2012 by smart2012
Konig, we all want this crap to end, that is why we want Verkel to get out. What u propose ie split Europe would make each European countries not able to compete with BRIC countries and USA, as too small, that is why is senseless (even if better for USA...)

What about a federal eu with a unified banking system and a central bank printing money, ie exactly same system as USA?

Hollande wants it, monti wants it, draghi wants it, only Verkel and buba are against it... Verkel gets out
15:40 December 8, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
So IchBin and smart2012 the EU is falling between two stools. Either use stool one and become a federal EU or use stool two and go back to being fully independent sovereign states. Either one is better in my opinion than the current situation. I am leaning more towards a federal EU as the competition is being cranked up from the US and China. In any case the current situation with Merkyl pulling the strings with her banking buddies interests at heart cannot go on. She is democraticaly elected in Germany but not the rest of Europe.
17:13 December 8, 2012 by Rischart99
A central bank printing money.............. some people never learn. Britain in printing money £325 billion so far has stored up a massive burst of inflation. All this does is make poor people poorer as their wages will not rise as fast as prices. As a German you really ought to understand what inflation is all about. Did you miss history?

as for Hollande and his mutualising debt dream, he couldn't care less for Spain and Italy, all he wants is Germany to pay off HIS debt. France has never worked towards a federal Europe as they will not cede power to anyone. This is why the Euro has problems. Until ALL government act responsibly, don't expect to be bailed out by their neighbours, actually be honest with their electorate as to what is a realistic expectation i.e. retiring at 55 without the massive tax income required stop, stupid tax competition (Ireland 12% Corporation tax, Netherlands and Luxembourg too) then the Euro will work. The present situation with Hollande trying to pretend that he can lead a southern European group that never gets to grip with their own economic problems but wants the north to bankroll their excesses won't work. That is what is splitting Europe.
19:54 December 8, 2012 by smart2012
Rischart99, if uk still has a say in the world and can still survive is cause English central bank saved all the English banks after they screwed up in 2008. And remember that uk has screwed up its manufacturing system too, with 0 growth, so again the economical system is saving them.

Noone says that central bank will have to print every day, however the system should be there. Also, be aware that also in Germany poverty has increased drastically, cause of productivity.

So tell us, what do u propose to get out of this crap?
22:31 December 8, 2012 by Rischart99
Not very Smart2012, if you read the comment and understand it you'll find that all that printing of money does no good. I hold no flame for Cameron , the UK banking sector or any of the rubbish you suggest. What you don't, and won't understand is that Hollande & Monti won't get you anywhere. The ECB are tired of waiting for certain politicians to reform their own economies, hence no bond buying. Monti is leaving and will be replaced and Hollande can't save his own economy let alone that of Europe. The irony of your statement that more not less Europe is the answer, is that this is the policy of Merkel.

Printing money will make you feel good for the first 5 minutes, but solving problems will take a lot longer. Your Mr Hollande is only just finding out.
23:00 December 8, 2012 by smart2012
One fiscal and banking union is what Verkel wants???? Did u drink tonight?? Verkel does not want it, cause everyone will realize how in trouble is local German banking system. Germany stopped the banking control agreement last week, did u notice it?

Again, still waiting for your proposal
01:41 December 9, 2012 by www.emungus.net
BETTER WHISPERING A MESSAGE OF DISTRESS THAN YELLING IT OUT…

Some patterns never lie... Apparently Opel is going under ; then better whispering than yelling it out . Such horrifying news are usually tempered , not announced loudly when made public. Well, this is a smarter way of delivering a message of distress.

This brand has been performing less-encouraging records for a long period of time. Zafira is a frontrunner in a desperate bout . A car with good performance indeed , but market challenges are higher than expected.

Yet another moment of mourning for European labor, German in particular.
13:58 December 9, 2012 by likosmokeses
Amusing comments.

Merkel is responsible cause she didn't give money to an AMERICAN company to save Opel.

Finally Capitalism works: A failed company (Opel) closing it's ''shop''.

Socialist want capitalistic money to save failed capitalistic companies.

This called FRAUD.

It's important to minimize Opel's price in order to be bought by lesser money from another capitalistic/banking monster. THEY KNOW BETTER.
17:06 December 9, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Either way it is just another of many distress calls coming out of Germany lately.
18:13 December 9, 2012 by jg.
@smart2012 "....split Europe would make each European countries not able to compete with BRIC countries and USA, as too small, that is why is senseless (even if better for USA...)"

I notice you left the "S" out of BRICS, so as to brush over the fact that one of the BRICS is Singapore, a city state with a population of just over 5 million and an area of only 700 square Km - yet they seem to struggle along without being bolted to a large to anyone else. The same can be said for South Korea and a number of small successful economies, Germany did not suddenly start exporting when they joined the EZ or even the EU. There is no correlation between being a successful manufacturing or exporting country and EU membership.

It is companies that make and sell gods and services, not countries or federations. Being big makes you a bigger target market, as the USA so aptly demonstrates. The USA runs with a huge deficit, largely financed by the Chinese who are on the other side of the US deficit equation.

I suspect GM will want to move Opel production to predicted growth markets, such as Russia.
18:31 December 9, 2012 by smart2012
Jg, Singapore is a financial heaven, like Switzerland.. So u r comparing apple to pears..

South Korea has no say in the world, and in its back has USA.. Go to Seoul and u'll see many American soldiers around. Why? Cause South Korea is an American base close to communist countries.

Germany alone would be nothing..

Sorry my friend
23:33 December 9, 2012 by PNWDev
Smartguy, a federal eu like the usa? HAHAHAHA.

Lets start first with the fact each state is comprised of Americans. Second, each state speaks the same tongue although So Cal is somewhat in question. Third, each eu country has its own sovereign interests. Fourth, oh forget it, i would rather sit back and laugh at your, throw anything on the board ideas.

A federal eu cannot work for the same reason your beloved un doesnt work.
00:45 December 10, 2012 by Beachrider
Opel has been part of GM since 1929. Like other German carmakers, there were opportunities for tax-credits or other incentives to Opel. I don't know what the original writers are talking about IF they mean to infer that Germany somehow answered-the-bell for Opel in the 2008 Bankruptcy.

Germany didn't answer any bell. They held their nose and saved those treatments of VW, BMW and others.

The American and Canadian taxpayers gave GM a huge bridge loan in exchange for special treatment for GM's unavoidable bankruptcy. You have to expect that these taxpayers will want jobs preserved in North America even when long-standing Opel facilities are at risk.

Opel has been a very profitable arm of GM for 80 years. It has become unprofitable are a difficult time for GM. There were a lot of folks that wanted GM to be liquidated (including the beaten Republican Presidentail nominee). As Joe Biden screamed: OBL is dead and GM is alive!
14:15 December 10, 2012 by raandy
Opel has been losing money since 1999. They were a factor in the 11 billion dollar loss by GM.Opels market share has halved and it is desperate to enter into the lucrative Chinese market. The problem is the GM is making tons of money in the Chinese market and will not allow Opel to cut into that.

The outlook for Opel is bleak, I doubt that the Americans will continue losing money in Europe for another decade.
16:41 December 10, 2012 by zeddriver
@Beachrider

And what is wrong with a private company going bankrupt? It does not mean 100% they would have closed. Also look at the market in America. Where are the following companies. And why didn't the auto industry collapse. Rambler, Desoto, Edsel, Dusenburg, Stanley steamer. They all went the way of the Dodo and the industry moved on without them.

Thing is. If there is a need for 1 million cars a year. Then 1 million cars will be built. Some one will have to build more to make up the short fall from a poorly run company that closes.
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