POLAND: Other brands to be made in Opel/Vauxhall plants
General Motors will almost certainly build non Opel/Vauxhall brand models in its European factories.
GM Europe president Steve Girsky said the company needs to use spare capacity at its existing plants. Other brands will be from the GM family and will almost certainly include Chevrolet.
Girsky stopped short of saying that Peugeots will roll off his assembly lines following the strategic alliance between the two companies.
GM has already shut one of its factories at Antwerp in Belgium and another in Germany will be shuttered this year. Girsky said: "GME did 1m cars last year, it is the third largest car maker in Europe and employs 37,400 people with 11 plants. Yes, there is spare capacity but we can produce non-Opel/Vauxhall models.”
As for the alliance with PSA, Girsky said joint purchasing has already started and both parties will soon start seeing benefits. "GM is particularly strong on the purchasing side while PSA has some technologies that we are very interested in. We have already embarked on three joint programmes, there is an engine in the mix and there will be more to come.”
Current programmes also include a logistics agreement with PSA-owned Gefco and joint vehicle programmes on Meriva, Zafira and Corsa.
"These will allow us to create true European economies of scale, leverage development resources, bring vehicles to market which we could not afford alone and find European market-optimised solutions.”
Despite the fact that its alliance partner is struggling, announcing losses of EUR5bn (GBP4.3bn) earlier this month, Girsky said he was confident about the future. "PSA is committed to making things work and it is a very important company in France. It is not something that is going to go away overnight.”
Girskly hands over the top job at GME at the end of this week to new chief Karl-Thomas Neumann and, up to his departure, has been immersed in talks with German unions over plant closures and cutbacks. And he admitted that more factory closures by European manufacturers were looming.
"Some 10% of capacity still needs to be taken out to get things into balance."