just-auto.com

GERMANY: General Motors Europe production returns to normal

By just-auto.com editorial team | 26 October 2004

Output at General Motors plants in Europe has returned to normal thanks to the resumed flow of parts from a key factory that was hit this month by a nearly week-long work stoppage.

"Back to normal" is how a spokesman at GM's European headquarters in Zurich described production to the Reuters news agency now that an Adam Opel plant in Bochum, Germany, had resumed shipments of parts needed to build Astra compact cars.

Bochum workers downed tools in protest of plans by the world's biggest carmaker to cut as many as 12,000 jobs in Europe to address chronic losses in the region where it has not made money since 1999.

An Opel spokesman reportedly said the disruption had cut Astra output by somewhat more than 7,000 vehicles.

Separately, the chief employee representative at Adam Opel AG, GM's German unit, played down a newspaper report that said he was in talks with GM executives about bundling European operations in a new company based in Brussels in a move to cut costs and simplify management structures.

Klaus Franz told Reuters this was an idea he had floated before but was not part of the negotiations with GM.