Opel boss unveils plan to slash 8,300 jobs

Opel boss unveils plan to slash 8,300 jobs
Photo: DPA
Opel boss Nick Reilly presented on Tuesday a plan for the future of the ailing General Motors unit, with a forecast loss of 8,300 jobs from a total of around 50,000, as expected.

Fewer than half the cuts, or 3,911, would take place in Germany, Reilly said. While management will lose 650 positions, manufacturing will bear the brunt of the German cuts. Bochum is likely to be the hardest hit, as 1,799 jobs are eliminated. Another 862 will be axed in Rüsselsheim, 300 in Eisenach and 300 in Kaiserslautern.

Reilly also confirmed a plant in Antwerp, Belgium would be shut down with the loss of 2,377 jobs. Spain will lose 900 jobs, while more than 500 were slated to be cut in Britain.

“We have no time to waste,” Reilly told a news conference in Frankfurt, near Opel’s headquarters in Rüsselsheim.

He added that according to a study by independent auditors demanded by German authorities “the plan is financially sound and offers a realistic roadmap to renewed business success.”

Opel needs €3.3 billion ($4.5 billion) to finance its Opel rescue plan, and hopes to get €2.7 billion of it from countries where Opel and its British sister brand Vauxhall have operations. The Essen-based Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung reported on Tuesday that GM wanted Berlin to provide €1.5 billion in aid.

German Economy Minister Rainer Brüderle and British Business Minister Peter Mandelson said at a joint press conference Friday they would carefully consider any appeal for aid immediately after a business plan had been presented.

GM had initially decided to sell Opel/Vauxhall but changed its mind after its own rescue by the US government, and has decided to turn the European unit around itself.

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