plants in Germany and Spain may face shut-downs next week, as workers plan to protest the closing of an assembly location in Portugal. The automaker announced on Wednesday that it would close the van assembly plant as it faces a 500-euro cost penalty there, with production moving to a Spanish plant. The decision was later suspended upon pleading by Portugal's government, but the automaker states that it will be extremely difficult to find the necessary efficiency improvements to keep the plant competitive.
The protests are said to potentially impact the launch of the Opel Corsa, a subcompact product that is key to GM's European model line-up. GM workers in Western Europe are said to be deeply concerned about the potential for their assembly jobs moving to lower-cost sites towards the east, and GM has also stated that it will be bringing over additional product from South Korea.