The top labor leader of money-losing Opel is confident that a deal with be reached with the automaker’s management with regards to the jobs in Germany by Christmas. Opel works council Chairman Wolfgang Schaefer-Klug also said that plans for General Motors' European unit will not be affected by the decision made by Ford Motor Co. to shut down three factories and cull 5,700 jobs in Europe.
Schaefer-Klug added that there will be cuts to be made at Opel but that they will not be as severe as with Ford. It’s expected that in the next two years, mass-market automakers Ford, Opel, PSA/Peugeot-Citroen and Fiat anticipate huge losses in Europe. The auto demand in Europe is predicted to fall to its lowest levels in almost two decades amid the agonizing economic reforms in the region.
GM recently reported a third-quarter loss of $478 million, compared to a loss of $292 million for the same period the previous year. GM now expects total losses this year in Europe of between $1.5 billion to $1.8 billion.
GM intends to reduce its costs in Europe by $500 million between 2013 and 2015. GM also said that this year, GM Europe's fixed costs are likely to drop by around $300 million. To reduce Opel’s costs, 2,600 workers will lose their jobs in Europe by the end of 2012 and it will also shut down its Bochum, Germany plant in 2016.