Opel to Shut Down All Activities in Bochum

Opel to Shut Down All Activities in Bochum

"Opel will shut down its three factories at Bochum," a spokesman for Opel's Bochum site said.

FRANKFURT — German carmaker Opel, the loss-making arm of General Motors (IW 500/4), said Friday it will phase out not only auto production at its site in Bochum, western Germany, as previously announced, but other activities as well.

"Opel will shut down its three factories at Bochum," a spokesman for Opel's Bochum site said.

Currently, more than 3,000 people are employed in the assembly of the group's Zafira model at Bochum.

But there is also a logistics center at the site, employing 420 people, and an engine factory with a workforce of 300.

Under a deal worked out by GM at the end of February, Opel had offered to keep car production in Bochum until the end of 2016 after which the plant would be retained as a components and logistics site employing 1,200 people.

But workers at the plant rejected the deal and so management said that auto production would be phased out at the end of 2014.

Opel has three other sites in Germany -- in Eisenach in eastern Germany, which builds the Corsa and Adam models; a components factory in Kaiserslautern in the south west; and the core production plant at Ruesselsheim, near Frankfurt.

GM estimates it stands to lose more than $1.5 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 of passenger cars fell 8.2% in 2012, according to data published by the European automobile makers' association.

GM has announced it will invest four billion euros in Opel and British sister brand Vauxhall by 2016.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013

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