• 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)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

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
Merkel accuses Isis of genocide
A photograph (right) made available by the jihadist affiliated group Albaraka News allegedly shows an Isis fighter tying up an Iraqi soldier. Photo: EPA/ALBARAKA NEWS/HANDOUT

Merkel accuses Isis of genocide

Chancellor Angela Merkel described atrocities committed by Isis in Iraq as genocide on Wednesday, going further than other western leaders in her condemnation of the group. READ  

Ebola patient treated at Hamburg hospital
An isolation ambulance approaches the specially outfitted aircraft carrying the Ebola patient at Hamburg airport. Photo: DPA

Ebola patient treated at Hamburg hospital

UPDATE: The first patient to be treated for Ebola in Germany arrived in Hamburg on Wednesday morning. READ  

Uber pushes expansion despite legal pitfalls
Uber is going head-to-head with taxi services across Germany. Photo: DPA

Uber pushes expansion despite legal pitfalls

Chauffeur car service Uber plans to expand into more German cities and double its activity in the country by the end of the year in the face of bitter opposition and a court case. READ  

Has Germany learned lessons of NSU failures?
Police images of the Beate Zschäpe, Uwe Böhnhardt and Uwe Bundlos, the three perpetrators of the NSU murders. Photo: DPA

Has Germany learned lessons of NSU failures?

The German government announced measures on Wednesday requiring police and courts to take tougher action against suspected hate crimes, following a neo-Nazi killing spree that went unsolved for more than a decade. READ  

The Local List
Ten of the oddest things found at border control
Photo: Zollamt/Shutterstock

Ten of the oddest things found at border control

Some of the strangest items found by German border control might make you think again about whether border checks are over the top. The Local List takes a look. READ  

Germany to lock out 'cheating' EU migrants
Demonstrators hold up a banner against Roma deportations in 2013. Photo: DPA

Germany to lock out 'cheating' EU migrants

UPDATE: Germany is expected to announce new measures on Wednesday to expel EU citizens who cheat the country's social security system, as well as improving conditions for asylum seekers. READ  

Shoppers' confidence collapses at record rate
Shoppers in Germany felt a sudden drop in confidence in August. Photo: DPA

Shoppers' confidence collapses at record rate

Confidence among German consumers fell at its fastest rate in August since records began more than 30 years ago. Instability on the international stage and fears for the future of the national economy have contributed to the sudden drop. READ  

Want to avoid driving fines? Swap seats
Photo: DPA

Want to avoid driving fines? Swap seats

A driver in western Germany should not be fined for "negligent driving" because he had swapped seats after a warning sign, a court ruled on Tuesday. READ  

Police find €20 million of cannabis in woods
The cannabis was found by a walker who alerted police. Photo: DPA

Police find €20 million of cannabis in woods

Police have found 18,500 cannabis plants with a street value of €20 million growing in the woods on the Dutch-German border. READ  

Anti-stress law moves step closer in Germany
Federal Labour Minister Andrea Nahles speaking to journalists in July. Photo: DPA

Anti-stress law moves step closer in Germany

Germany’s Labour Minister Andrea Nahles has given her backing to an anti-stress law, announcing a study into workers' mental health on Tuesday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: Gerkan, Marg and Partners/Tegel Projekt GmbH/J. Mayer
Berlin
How will Berlin look in five years' time?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The best of Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit in 14 pictures
Photo: DPA
Politics
Germany sends burgers and sausages to Kurds
Photo: DPA
National
Size does matter in this case, rules judge
Photo: Matthias Kock
National
Tribes, ties and a movie: A German's Afghan life
Photo: DPA
Gallery
10 things to do before summer in Germany is really over
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Education
Raising the bar for law & business in Germany
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

3,453
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd