Opel plans to auction equipment from its Bochum site in Germany on November 4, 2014, as General Motor prepares to close the plant to cut its excess capacity in Europe with an aim of moving back to black. The site is set to build its last vehicle on Dec. 12, 2014, according to Maynards auction firm.
Andreas Matuszczak, Maynards’ European managing director, told Automotive News Europe, that the site’s 50 presses along with 80 percent of the robots in the body shop will be auctioned. The auction firm will also place on the hammer a complete fire station with vehicles, a canteen and a healthcare ward.
Opel, however, is not selling the site’s assembly line since it will be move to its other plants. According to Matuszczak, all the presses had been bought new for the plant and are between 800 tons and 5,000 tons. He said that he expects buyers to come eastern Europe, Turkey, India or Thailand.
The Bochum site commenced operations in 1962 and was considered as the largest construction site in Europe at the time. Its first model was the Opel Kadett. The brand currently assembles the Zafira Tourer and Zafira Classic minivans at the site.
When the site closes, the production of the Zafira Classic will stop altogether. Opel has also transferred production of the Tourer to its Russelsheim site near Frankfurt. GM is not alone is closing sites and reducing employees as a response to lower auto demand and higher costs.
Ford Motor is shutting down its Genk plant in Belgium while PSA/Peugeot Citroen closing its Aulnay site near Paris.