The changes to be implemented for the European operations of General Motors would be more radical than anticipated, according to a Der Spiegel magazine report. Sources inside Opel told Der Spiegel that the senior General Motors managers in North America have decided to move the production of the Astra from Opel’s main Russelsheim plant in Germany.
The Astra will now be produced at its Polish-based Gelwice factory and Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port operations in the UK. Opel worker’s union representatives became upset. They imply that the production of the Astra is priced 220 euro higher at Ellesmere Port than in Russelsheim. Losing Astra would mean that Russelsheim will only produce one model – the Insignia.
Job reductions of as many as 200 workers are mooted for Opel’s development centre in Russelsheim. It’s also believed that General Motors will very soon announce the closure of Opel’s Bochum plant, which presently produces the Zafira and Astra.
The Der Spiegel report also stated that General Motors is considering a plan that would lead to the next generation Zafira being conceived and developed by PSA (Peugeot Citroen), with which it owns 7% in shares.