GM still wants to invest in growing its European arm Opel/Vauxhall

Article by Christian A., on June 28, 2012

There are signs that General Motors and German labor leaders are making some progress in their negotiations over restructuring Opel/Vauxhall. It seems that GM is preparing to invest in its European arm. Armin Schild, the head of union IG Metall at the region where Opel is based in, said that the union thinks that there’s a “learning process at GM.”

A meeting set for this Thursday will be attended by Opel's supervisory board and several labor representatives to talk about the management's mid-term business plan that is expected to revive the unit. Schild said that this business plan has to reflect the goal to widen the market share in Europe in the long term.

He added that the union is aware of its difficulty, considering the likelihood that the western European car market will shrink in the future, according to Autonews. GM and German labor leaders like Schild are in separate restructuring talks that may lead to the discontinuation of production at Opel's Bochum plant in 2017. This is in exchange of scrapping any compulsory layoffs in Germany for the period that lasts until the end of 2016.

Schild also said that he believes it likely that there would be a form of socially-acceptable staff cuts through measures such as severance packages or normal attrition.

The union wants the Bochum plant to continue operations but Schild said that it’s not yet clear what will happen to this plant, which produces the Zafira minivan. He said that GM is working to reduce costs and lessen idle output capacity in Europe but at the same time, unions are pushing it to invest more in new models and technology to fight a drop in market share.

Providing an exemplary mix of comfort and functionality, the latest Opel Zafira Tourer communicates the Insignia values to the monocab class - prime qualities, modern technologies, and dynamic style. Opel built the seven-seat compact van class in the year 1999. With a wide Flex7 seating system that houses seven seats, the latest Zafira Tourer now marks a novel benchmark in interior vibe and flexibility.

However, the third line Zafira's technology goes even further as it complements its newly improved, flexible seating arrangement. The Opel Zafira Tourer overall showcases a giant leap into the future and conveys new goals. It is the ideal compact van, not just for families. Its sleek style, roomy lounge feel, improved chassis and new innovations allow relaxed driving with full safety and comfort. The next generation of the Opel Eye front camera sets the reference for a string of modern assistance systems, and Opel is the pioneer carmaker to introduce a compact van that controls speed via an adaptive, radar-based mechanism.

The range of the engine available for the new Opel Zafira Tourer includes super-efficient gasoline and diesel engines with output from 81 kW/110 hp to 121 kW/165 hp. Right after the beginning of the sales, an exemplary low-consumption ecoFLEX variant with a 2.0 CDTI common-rail turbo diesel and basic Start/Stop technology will be added to the Zafira Tourer line-up. The Zafira Tourer 2.0 CDTI ecoFLEX prides itself of the values in the compact monocab class with only 119 g/km CO2. And this includes an excellent performance of 96 kW/130 hp and a max torque of 300 Nm.

Also being offered is the particularly economical natural gas model of the latest Zafira Tourer. The Opel Zafira Tourer 1.6 CNG turbo ecoFLEX (110kW/150hp) will be available on the market in the first quarter of 2012.

Topics: gm, opel, vauxhall

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