Europe's ailing economy has caused the supervisory board at General Motors, which includes four senior executives, to vote to end production of the Opel Zafira MPV at the 50-year-old Bochum plant in Germany. The closing of the car factory marks the first closure of a German automobile assembly plant in decades, and it will cost Buchum (a city with nearly 375,000 residents in the western part of the country) about 3,000 jobs.

Some doubted that GM would shift production and tooling of the Zafira out of Bochum before 2017 (the end of the model's life cycle), as it is a move that will prove costly to the automaker, but those hopes were dashed earlier this week. "General Motors said they were willing at most to keep 1,200 people on board, but nothing was set in stone. It never made any concrete binding offer to the workforce, so our entire staff would have had to hope they kept up their end of the bargain," Bochum works council head Rainer Einenkel, who is also on the board of Opel, told Reuters.

The vote of closure is not without plenty of controversy. Labour leaders in Bochum are convinced that their colleagues at other German plants endorsed the move in order to keep their Opel factories open. There may be some truth to that, as the decision means that the Opel plant in Ruesselsheim will build the Zafira after the doors at Bochum are locked shut.


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  • 18 Comments
      OptimusPrimeRib
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm hoping the Euro car market bounces back like the US. I'm sorry for those that lost their jobs, especially in the troubling times over there.
      riserburn99andre
      • 1 Year Ago
      Sucks that they had to shut it down. Opel needs to be solvent and the only way to do that is to cut excess. In the EU economic atmosphere right now it can't be helped.
      RetrogradE
      • 1 Year Ago
      And why was it opened in the first place?
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      Healthy Chap
      • 1 Year Ago
      In decades? Didn't Antwerp get shut down?
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Healthy Chap
        [blocked]
      Jerry
      • 1 Year Ago
      About damn time! Was starting to think that GM was a division of Opel for a while there with all the money that we have been floating them to keep their dysfunctional structure afloat!
      cangelo629
      • 1 Year Ago
      To The Germans...........Welcome To America........
      fine7760
      • 1 Year Ago
      What's the big deal. There use to be several GM, Ford and I believe Chrysler factories in Southern California. Maybe Studebaker and Packard too. They are all gone now. Also I think Toyota has closed their factory here. So one factory in Germany is no big deal, it's the sign of our times.
        jjneubert
        • 1 Year Ago
        @fine7760
        Closing a plant after 50 years IS a big deal. GM sells a lot of OPELs in Europe. Everything GM touches or buys turns to crap. SAAB, HUMMER, not to mention losing the oldest nameplate in their stable Oldsmobile. Also lost Pontiac and Saturn. Ever read on "On a Clear Day you can see GM"? One of the worst run companies out there with waste, bureaucratic incompetence and contradictions. All the while boasting American built, look at the Spark and Encore which are built in Korea. And we paid for their bail out and continue to prop up their worthless union??...GET A Clue!!
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