Opel/Vauxhall 5-year rescue plan revealed

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 27, 2010

About 8,300 jobs will be cut at Opel/Vauxhall as part of a five-year plan that has a goal of cutting capacity by 20%, refreshing 80% of its product lineup and bringing the company into profit by 2012. Opel/Vauxhall, a General Motors division, added that the 11 billion euro ($15 billion) plan needs 3.3 billion euros to run the company during the restructuring.

To reach the sum, the division will request European governments with Opel/Vauxhall operations for loans or loan guarantees of 2.7 billion euros.

As part of the plan, Opel will proceed with closing the factory in Antwerp, Belgium, to cut capacity to match weaker demand for new cars.

The plan is also believed to include a strategic push into alternative propulsion technology that will see the launch of an extended range electric vehicle aside from the Opel Ampera, a sibling to the Chevrolet Volt.

In a statement, CEO Nick Reilly said that Opel/Vauxhall has a "clear vision" to be a leading European manufacturer of high quality, desirable automotive products, based on German engineering.

Reilly also shared that external auditors Warth & Klein have said the carmaker's plan is viable. With that assessment, it now has formally applied for loans or loan guarantees from the German government. Germany's role is vital as it has half of Opel's 48,000 workforce. Opel is asking Germany for 1.5 billion euros.

A further 1.2 billion euros is sought from the UK, Spain, Poland and Austria. In addition, Opel said the viability plan anticipates that 80% of its carlines will be three years old or less by 2012.

This includes eight major launches this year such as the Meriva, Corsa, Movano and Astra Sports Tourer and another four in 2011, including the Ampera, Europe's first extended range electric car.

Opel is set to spend 1 billion euros on fuel-efficient powertrain technology including introducing pure battery-electric vehicles in smaller-size segments, start/stop technology, downsized engines and expanding LPG and CNG applications.

The company also has accelerated efforts to launch a minicar that's slotted below its Corsa subcompact Corsa, making a strong push in the light commercial vehicle business. [via autonews - sub. required]

Topics: opel, vauxhall, plan

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