Opel CEO kills rumors, says that plants will be open through 2014

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 26, 2012

General Motors Co. Europe President Karl-Friedrich Stracke said that all Opel/Vauxhall plants will be open through 2014 but he said that no actions will be banned in its efforts to post a profit in the future. This statement came from Bild, the top-selling newspaper in Germany. Stracke said that GM will find other ways to cut losses at its European operations.

One of these options is to review the wages. He denies media reports that Opel's supervisory board will be meeting next Wednesday to discuss a plan to shut down its plants located in Bochum, Germany, and Ellesmere Port, England. Stracke also said in this interview that they will be examining ways to be profitable but that closing down factories isn’t an option.

He said that it’s clear under the deal that factories are guaranteed to be operational until the end of 2014. Stracke, who also serves as Opel/Vauxhall CEO, said that he just had a talk with GM CEO Dan Akerson who pledged his full support to Opel and the path that it is taking. Stracke and Akerson were in agreement that solutions for Opel would be resolved in Europe rather than in the U.S. Opel’s investment to offer new products by 2014 amounts to 11 billion euros.

In response to the dwindling European market, the brand is seeking to raise sales in markets like China, Australia and Israel. There’s also a marketing campaign planned to give Opel’s image a boost.

With regards to Opel’s future strategies, Stracke said that the brand requires a comprehensive strategy that considers all factors and parameters. He emphasized that there are “no taboos.” When asked about the future of its Bochum facility beyond 2014, he said that the company will review all the locations. Bochum presently assembles the Astra compact car, along with the Zafira and Zafira Tourer minivans – three crucial Opel products.

Topics: opel

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