Opel/Vauxhall has confirmed it will take “two to three months” before specific details are unveiled concerning its restructuring plan designed to turn around colossal losses.
The European division of General Motors posted an enormous US$700m loss recently, adding to fevered speculation surrounding the future of plants in Germany and the UK, such as Bochum and Ellesmere Port.
An Opel spokesman in Germany confirmed to just-auto today (7 March) comments made by GM Europe president Karl-Friedrich Stracke yesterday at the Geneva show; a rough timetable is being worked on to announce the restructuring plans.
“Two to three months I think we need for sure before we can speak more precisely on further details,” said Stracke, who has recently seen GM vice chairman Stephen Girsky drafted in to become Opel board chairman.
Much has been made of late concerning overcapacity in Europe although the Opel spokesman declined to comment on moves to address surplus volume or the future of the automaker’s plants in Europe following GM’s move to ally itself with PSA.
That decision has prompted much union alarm with sources in Germany telling just-auto German and French labour bodies would meet shortly to discuss any potential threat to jobs and factories.
Part of that threat could come from any move to consolidate Opel’s own component sourcing into PSA parts manufacturer, Faurecia, which, as a source said, was: “One of the largest component makers in Europe – there is potential for pressure from management.”
Union fears have also been stoked by the failed alliance in 2000 between GM and Fiat who signed a separation agreement in 2005 dissolving the purchasing and powertrain joint venture companies formed in 2000.
French unions were not immediately available for comment.