• Germany edition
 
Opel cuts car production at Bochum plant
Photo: DPA

Opel cuts car production at Bochum plant

Published: 10 Dec 2012 10:09 GMT+01:00
Updated: 10 Dec 2012 14:02 GMT+01:00

"Opel management has today informed the workforce that full vehicle production at the Bochum plant will be discontinued after production of the Zafira model is scheduled to cease in 2016," the statement said.

Opel had already announced in June that it would stop building Zafira cars in Bochum in 2016.

"The main reasons behind this decision are the dramatic decline in the European car market and the enormous overcapacity in the entire industry," Opel explained. Despite "intensive efforts, we have been unable to change this situation."

On Friday, the works committee had said the decision could mean the entire site might be shut down with the potential loss of up to 3,000 jobs.

But management insisted that would not be the case and that although vehicle production would cease, Bochum would be used as a parts distribution centre after that date.

Indeed, in its new function, the plant could even be expanded as part of an initiative to secure existing jobs at Bochum and even create new ones.

"It is our clear intention to safeguard the jobs of a significant number of Opel employees in Bochum, said head of GM Europe Steve Girsky.

"Germany is our most important market and, with around 20,000 employees, the backbone and home of our brand. That will remain true in the future," said Opel deputy chief Thomas Sedran.

Several hundreds of jobs are allegedly set to be created in the new parts distribution centre, but a company spokesman declined to confirm the figure. "Everything is still being negotiated."

GM estimates it stands to lose more than €1.2 billion on its European operations this year and wants to steer Opel and its British sister brand Vauxhall back to profit by 2015.

Opel and Vauxhall are heavily dependent on the European market where industry-wide sales fell by 15 percent in the first nine months, according to data published by the European automobile makers' association.

The German government expressed "great regret" at Opel's decision to cease vehicle production at Bochum.

"That's a terrible blow for the people affected and their families, as well as for Bochum as an industrial site," said government spokesman Georg Streiter.

"The government regards Opel as a key company in the German automobile sector and expects the parent company General Motors to undertake everything to reach a solution that is socially acceptable," Streiter told a regular news briefing in Berlin.

He said the government welcomed Opel's intention to retain and expand Bochum into a logistics centre.

AFP/DAPD/The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

16:50 December 10, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Now is the winter of our discontent

Made glorious summer by this sun of York;

And all the clouds that lour'd upon our house

In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.

Three cheers for Angie and her banking buddies.
06:22 December 15, 2012 by the Anonymous Designer
Conservatives in America are claiming General Motors would be in better shape and regained it's footing faster were it to have been left to the Private Sector to save rather than being bailed out by the government.

Germany is often used and pointed to as a model for Conservative Austerity policy success over here in the States. So, how is Opel doing?
08:58 December 18, 2012 by honeybeee
It is definitely a bad news ,but it's not that bad enough to be very negative toward it. Because the site still can be reserved to be operated as a logistics distribution center there. And for Berlin fuer alles, buddie, U really cant blame all bad situations to our dearest Angie coz it¦#39;s really unfair and she is not possible a superwoman ,but just a humble granny chancellor to try to do her responsibility at this critical moment.Maybe we all need to keep a positive outlooking for all the car industry coz some is still performing very well in this harsh winter . You do look at Continental Ag , for this car-parts maker ,which is doing great in this whole 2012 year and reflects very well on DAX index to give much confidence toward his investors including his biggest shareholder Schaeffler AG as well.
Today's headlines
Lufthansa pilots abandon Frankfurt strike plans
Photo: DPA

Lufthansa pilots abandon Frankfurt strike plans

UPDATE: Pilots' union Cockpit has announced that it will abandon plans for its members to walk out at Frankfurt airport on Tuesday. READ  

One of these men will be Berlin's next mayor
Jan Stöß, Raed Saleh, Michael Müller Photo: DPA

One of these men will be Berlin's next mayor

Three men are hoping to become Berlin’s next mayor after Klaus Wowereit steps down in December. With nominations closing on Monday, The Local looks at the three politicians who want to lead the city. READ  

Hotels hike up prices six-fold for Oktoberfest
Photo: DPA

Hotels hike up prices six-fold for Oktoberfest

As an estimated six million people get ready to raise their glasses for the annual Oktoberfest in Munich, hotels are raising their prices by as much as six times their regular rates. READ  

Police pin down Lidl meat needle culprit
A CCTV of the suspect released by police. Photo: Lübeck Polizei

Police pin down Lidl meat needle culprit

A woman has come forward to admit hiding needles in packets of meat in discount supermarkets after CCTV images enabled police to pick up the thread of the investigation. READ  

Germany puts first 'Isis jihadist' on trial
Kreshnik Berisha in court in Frankfurt on Monday. Photo: DPA

Germany puts first 'Isis jihadist' on trial

UPDATE: An alleged German jihadist went on trial on Monday accused of fighting for the Islamic State in Syria group, amid calls for tougher action to prevent attacks in Europe by the militants. READ  

Netflix to launch in Germany this week
Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood and Robin Wright as Claire Underwood in House of Cards. Photo: DPA/Sony Pictures Television Inc.

Netflix to launch in Germany this week

TV streaming service Netflix is set to launch in Germany this week in the face of stiff competition from existing players. READ  

JobTalk Germany
'Three types of firms are hiring foreigners'
Photo: Shutterstock

'Three types of firms are hiring foreigners'

What kind of companies are hiring foreigners in Germany? And which type of firm should you target for your next career move? Recruitment expert Chris Pyak reveals all to JobTalk. READ  

Mushroom pickers find human skull
Photo: DPA

Mushroom pickers find human skull

Two mushroom pickers in central Germany found a human skull and bones in the woods on Saturday. READ  

Eurosceptics celebrate huge eastern gains
AfD leader Bernd Lucke celebrates on Sunday night. Photo: DPA

Eurosceptics celebrate huge eastern gains

UPDATE: Germany's anti-euro party celebrated huge gains in elections in two eastern states on Sunday night, in a show of strength that spells a growing threat for Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives. READ  

Merkel: 'Jewish life is part of German identity'
Merkel speaking on Sunday at the rally in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Merkel: 'Jewish life is part of German identity'

Chancellor Angela Merkel vowed on Sunday to resolutely combat anti-Semitism, speaking at a rally to condemn a spate of hate speech and attacks against Jews in Germany during the latest Gaza conflict. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
National
Neo-Nazis are attacking newspaper offices
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Election night in Brandenburg and Thuringia
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Berlin spy station sees tourism boom
Photo: DPA
Politics
Germany officially bans terror group Isis
Photo: DPA/ESA
Tech
VIDEO: How one German astronaut sees Earth
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Frisky couple shock Berlin commuters
Photo: DPA
Politics
Are Germans right to want cooler relations with USA?
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Fashion Ladies of the Local: Win a New Autumn Look
Photo: Bayernpartei/DPA
Politics
Why some Bavarians want a Scottish 'Yes'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
12 things to do in Berlin for less than a latte
Photo: Facebook
National
Bavarian waiter breaks beer-carrying record
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten German place names that make us giggle
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,250
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd