Opel has stretched the patience of its parent General Motors and the ever-watchful financial markets are gazing upon the loss-making brand with a jaundiced eye. On Thursday, Opel management is expected to put forth a plan that provides a path to shrinking billions of dollars in losses while also increasing productivity. At the same time, the European car market is expected to tumble further throughout 2012.

Running plants at full-tilt with three shifts when the chips are down would be counterintuitive for an automaker, but GM is a global manufacturer, so it's expected that those Opel plants might be building Chevrolet models and cars intended for other markets, like Korea.

Layoffs are a particularly sore subject with German labor unions, but you can expect to see moves to shift wages down where possible. Opel may even cut a deal with the unions that avoids layoffs in exchange for wage concessions, and possibly push for a plant closure. Nobody expects the way forward to be easy, with the Germany's IG Metall trade union already having cut wages and agreed to reinvest 11 billion Euros in Opel's current business plan, everyone is expecting to have to swallow hard and make the tough decisions for GM of Europe to save itself.


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  • 17 Comments
      amac
      • 2 Years Ago
      "...you can expect to see moves to shift wages down where possible." Including the bloated salaries and bonuses of upper management?
      aatbloke1967
      • 2 Years Ago
      The problem for Opel is that GME are now blurring the distinction in the marketplace between Opel - which has remained static - and Chevrolet, which has moved from the bargain basement brand five years ago to building vehicles now utilising both Opel and Opel-equivalent platforms, while now being almost comparable to the European mainstreams in terms of build quality, and sales are increasing as a result while simultaneously being a good 10-15% cheaper than the Opel equivalent. Whatsmore, Opel no longer has its motorsport heritage to fall back on and there are plenty of other European mainstreams which are just as good to drive, if not better.
      SloopJohnB
      • 2 Years Ago
      It would be more useful if they got medieval on their designers.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        carfan
        • 2 Years Ago
        when have you driven a Cadillac CTS the last time??? The handling dynamics of a Cadillac CTS way surpasses that of a MB E klasse, and equal to if not better than BMW 5 series. Empty words coming from people who probably never drove a Cadilalc or MB or BMW.
        Sir Duke
        • 2 Years Ago
        Very few if any Opels have better handling dynamics than Cadillacs of today. Buick yes, but no Opel rises to the level of a post 2008 Cadillac. I've been saying all along that Opel will die off or be sold off in 5 years. With Chevrolet becoming a GLOBAL brand, Opel and Vauxhall are now redundant, especially Vauxhall which is practically worthless.
      throwback
      • 2 Years Ago
      GM should have sold Opel when they had the chance. Once GM made the decision to make Chevy a global brand Opel became redundant.
        Pdexter
        • 2 Years Ago
        @throwback
        They sure should have. German, Opel, everybody other than GM was wanting Opel to separate form GM. Well GM is paying the price now. While the engineers over at Opel side are important, they are not worth this much.
      Mchicha
      • 2 Years Ago
      GME should loose control over brands.. Let Opel and Buick become one global company... and while at it give them GMC
        aatbloke1967
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Mchicha
        There's no such thing as a global company. However, you can have a global group of companies. Any one company can only be situs and domiciled in one country.
        Shane Gardner
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Mchicha
        ...what?
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Shane Gardner
          [blocked]
      Shane Gardner
      • 2 Years Ago
      While not being the whole issue, pushing Chevrolet as a global brand in areas where GM already had brands in place has probably hurt more then helped in the long run.
      Avinash Machado
      • 2 Years Ago
      I guess Chevy is cannibalizing Opel sales.
      Shane Gardner
      • 2 Years Ago
      While not being the whole issue, pushing Chevrolet as a global brand in areas where GM already had brands in place has probably hurt more then helped in the long run.
      fliproll
      • 2 Years Ago
      I bought a 2012 Buick Regal GS three months ago. I ordered it with an automatic transmission. It is a fantastic automobile. So what is the fate of all Buick Regals at this point in time?
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