According to an internal strategy document entitled "Global Assembly Footprint," General Motors Co. could increase its production capacity in low-cost countries and shut down its Bochum plant in Germany and Ellesmere Port site in the UK. German magazine Der Spiegel released this report after having been able to acquire a copy of this document.
This document also stated that if vehicle sales go up, GM would build more cars in countries like Poland, Russia, China, India, Mexico and Brazil. Der Spiegel said that it was presented with this document during a global GM business conference.
It also revealed that GM is planning to export 300,000 more vehicles to the European market from facilities in Mexico, Korea and China by 2016. A GM spokesman in Europe commented that it has not decided any plan related to whether Opel’s production will be transferred from Germany.
Opel spokesman didn’t directly comment on this matter and would only say that GM would always grab the opportunities available in the global automotive market. Opel CEO Karl-Friedrich Stracke told German paper Bild lat Saturday that in the near term, plants won’t be closed and jobs won’t be cut.
However, Stracke clarified that there won’t be any taboos in its efforts to have higher profits. Last Friday, the German WAZ group of newspapers cited government sources in reporting that Stracke had told the German government about its plans to shutter the Opel plant in Bochum.
The report also stated that Stracke and the workers union will meet on Monday. A spokeswoman for Germany's Economy Ministry said that the situation is being followed closely and that they’re in contact with Opel’s management. Stracke had asserted that these factories will be open through the end of 2014.