CHICAGO Adam Opel AG management notified employees at
its Bochum, Germany, auto plant that manufacturing will cease
at the end of the current Zafira production cycle in 2016.
Owned by General Motors Co., Detroit, Opel said this past June
that it wasnt planning a successor product to the Zafira
in view of the shrinking European car market and industrywide
The warehouse in Bochum will continue to offer jobs beyond 2016
and could be expanded, and Opel is negotiating with employee
representatives to allocate new component production in Bochum.
A working group has formed to develop the site, secure existing
jobs and create new ones in the region. The group has a
clear goal for securing a significant number of ... jobs at
Opel, GM vice chairman, chairman of the Opel Supervisory
Board and acting president of GM Europe, Stephen Girsky said in
a statement Monday.
Opel will implement job reductions in the most socially
responsible way. (We will) refrain from forced redundancies
before the run-out of the current Zafira, Ginsky said.
In spite of the planned factory closure, Rüsselsheim,
Germany-based Opel will spend the next four years entering new
markets and segments by launching 23 new vehicle models and 13
The Bochum closure is reminiscent of Ford Motor Co.s
recent decision to restructure its manufacturing capacity in
Europe by shutting down its Genk, Belgium, assembly plant by
the end of 2014 (
amm.com, Oct. 24
Genk has had the lowest capacity utilization rate of
Fords European assembly plants, Ford Europe chairman
Stephen Odell told analysts in late October (
amm.com, Oct. 26
Ford will also close two plants in the the United Kingdom next
year, ultimately transferring production to Turkey, Germany and
Meanwhile, falling North American sales of heavy trucks and
engines has led manufacturers to cut production and lay off
amm.com, Nov. 7
). But the industry expects a
rebound once dealerships work off excess inventory.
Those idling capacity, curbing production and laying off
employees include Peoria, Ill.-based Caterpillar Inc.;
Columbus, Ind.-based Cummins Inc.; Lisle, Ill.-based Navistar
International Corp.; and Bellevue, Wash.-based Paccar Inc.
Caterpillar, for example, has idled factories this quarter, but
chairman and chief executive officer Doug Oberhelman said these
capacity curtailments are temporary (
amm.com, Oct. 22