BELGIUM: Opel looking to use Antwerp infrastructure elsewhere
Opel says it is evaluating the possibility of using some installations elsewhere from its Antwerp site, which has built its last car.
The GM company's press and paint shop facilities are currently on auctioneers' Maynards books for liquidation, while it is not clear what will happen to the rest of the manufacturer's substantial Belgian infrastructure.
The last Astra at the Belgian port factory came off the assembly line yesterday (15 December), leaving a skeleton staff of around 400 compared to the site's heyday when it employed more than 2,500 people.
"First we are looking if we can use installations in other facilities [while] Maynards is handling other technical facilities, this process is only beginning," an Opel spokeswoman in Belgium told just-auto.
"We did not find an automotive investor. There was not a viable business plan with the Chinese so that is why discussions stopped."
A first phase of redundancies at the Antwerp plant saw 1,250 workers leave, while a further 1,300 scheduled to lose their posts will now receive six months guidance to find employment. Opel is to assume the cost of that guidance.
The 400 remaining employees are due in next week before the site closes down for the Christmas period. A few workers will be retained in January for maintenance and security purposes.
Opel confirmed it was in discussions with the Antwerp Port Authority with a view to disposals.
"We are negotiating with the Port Authority to sell the land and buildings," added the spokeswoman. "I can't go into detail."