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Planned cost reductions at GM in Europe are likely to focus most heavily on jobs in Germany and Belgium. Plants in Bochum, Germany, and Antwerp, Belgium, are considered most under threat.

According to Automotive News Europe, the head of the Opel works council, Klaus Franz, said that should things come down to closing a European plant, there would be ‘war’.

A decision is due soon on the production location of the next Astra. Plants in Sweden, the UK, Poland, Germany and Belgium are under consideration, but GM does not expect to need as much capacity for the new model as it did for the last, partly because the Zafira minivan has cannibalised sales.

Opel chairman Hans Demant told Automotive News Europe that the decision would come down to flexibility, productivity, quality and logistics.