One of Opel's plants is exiting the car-making business.
General Motors' Opel division has confirmed plans to cease vehicle production at its factory in Bochum, Germany. Part of GM's "Drive Opel 2022" initiative, the move is intended to help Opel reach a break-even point by mid-decade.
Opel officials confirmed plans on Monday to cease vehicle production at the Bochum plant following the end of production of the current Zafira, expected sometime in 2016. GM announced earlier this year that the Bochum plant wouldn't receive a successor to the Zafira, but this is the first official word that no GM product will replace the compact minivan.
Although Opel will no longer produce vehicles in Bochum, the company says the facility will retain its warehouse operations beyond 2016. GM is also exploring the possibility of shifting some component production to Bochum, but nothing concrete has been announced.
GM is hopeful it won't have to cut its Bochum workforce until 2016. After that date, GM says it will offer employees "attractive separation packages." The Bochum plant employs about 3,100 people.
GM, which lost $747 million in Europe last year, is expected to lose as much as $1.8 billion in the region in 2012. GM has laid out a new business plan with the intent of achieving a break-even point in Europe by mid-decade.