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Posts Tagged ‘opel’

GM Drops $750 Million on Opel Severance Plans

Maker spending about $165,000 per worker at Bochum plant.

by on Jun.17, 2014

The Bochum, Germany plant, which produced the Opel Zafira, is slated to close by the end of the year.

General Motors has taken a critical step in the restructuring of Opel by agreeing to spend $750 million on severance and retirement packages for 3,300 members of the IG Metal, the German metalworkers union.

Opel sits at the heart of GM Europe and the restructuring is necessary to end a string of losses that reaches all the way back to the late 1990s, GM officials said. GM Europe is expected to lose money again this year, but could finally post a profit in 2015.

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Representatives of Opel and IG Metall have negotiated an agreement for the approximately 3,300 employees at a plant in Bochum, Germany, which is due to shutdown permanently by the end of the year. (more…)

Opel Powers Up its Pint-Sized Line-up with the Adam S

Pocket rocket makes its world debut.

by on Mar.04, 2014

The newest hot hatch: the Opel Adam S made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show.

Don’t come to the Geneva Motor Show if you’re a hot hatch fan.  You’ll only come to realize just how many of these pint-sized powerboxes we don’t get on the Western side of the Atlantic.  And lucky Europeans are about to get another one with this week’s debut of the Opel Adam S.

Yes, Opel. The struggling brand that General Motors was ready to walk away from a few years back has scored a surprising hit with the little Adam model it debuted little more than 18 months ago and now it’s adding a bit more performance hoping to build even more momentum.

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Also debuting in right-hand-drive configuration as the Vauxhall Adam S, Geneva sees the launch of a very thinly disguised production model that will deliver a solid 150 horsepower out of its 1.4-liter turbo-four engine. That’s an impressive 110 horsepower per liter. And the pocket rocket gets 50% more horsepower and 70% more torque, at 162 pound-feet, than the naturally aspirated 1.4-liter version of the Adam. (more…)

GM Pulling Chevrolet from Europe in 2016

Plan gives Opel one less competitor in market.

by on Dec.05, 2013

GM is pulling its Chevy brand from Europe, hoping to bolster sales for its Opel and Vauxhall brands.

General Motors is yanking its Chevrolet brand from most of Europe by 2016 hoping it will bolster sales for its Opel and Vauxhall brands. Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States will still sell Chevy vehicles.

Chevy’s departure from Europe came in a surprise overnight news release. The brand has long been the dominant one for GM in its home North American market, but has had a less significant role abroad.

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In recent years, as German-based Opel had begun to fade, GM began looking to Chevrolet as a potential alternative. In fact, some analysts suggested GM might eventually abandon Opel entirely.  (more…)

GM Investing $5.2 bil in Opel Turnaround

"Opel is key to our access," asserts CEO Akerson.

by on Apr.10, 2013

Opel continues to struggle for a turnaround.

General Motors plans to pump €4 billion into its struggling Opel subsidiary over the next three years in a bid to finally reverse 13 years of losses that have led some skeptics to call on the American maker to sell or shutter the German-based operation.

The move, worth $5.2 billion, approved by the GM board on Wednesday, is meant to show that Opel has the maker’s “full support,” declared Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson, who emphasized his belief that “Opel is a key to our success.”

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Following a meeting of the GM board at Opel headquarters in Russelsheim, Akerson declined to provide details of what the money will be used for, though the German subsidiary has been racing to streamline its bloated operations even while adding an array of new products such as the Opel Adam and Mokka models that have been among its few recent successes.


Feds Rapidly Selling Off GM Shares

“Government Motors” no more?

by on Mar.12, 2013

GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson has made it clear he wants the government to sell off its stock ASAP.

It may soon be “Government Motors” no more.

While the White House has set a deadline of April 2014 to sell off all its remaining shares of General Motors, it appears to be racing to meet that target sooner than expected, the Treasury selling off nearly $490 million in stock last month, according to a report provided to Congress.

But at the price taxpayers received – anywhere from $26.19 to $29.36 per share – that could mean an eventual loss on the 2008 – 2009 GM bailout of billions of dollars.

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At one point, the U.S. Treasury held a majority stake in GM, prompting critics of the bailout to deride the maker as “Government Motors.” Some right-wing pundits went so far as to call for a boycott of GM products, along with those from Chrysler, which also received federal assistance.


Treasury Begins Process of Selling Off Remaining GM Shares

Targets exit of “Government Motors” by April 2014 – or sooner.

by on Jan.21, 2013

The GM logo atop the maker's Detroit HQ.

The Obama Administration has begun the countdown as it takes the next step in the process of selling off its remaining stake in General Motors by no later than April 2014.

The move comes a month after the U.S. Treasury sold off 200 million shares of GM common stock for $5.5 billion – but also coincides with a jump in the maker’s stock price. Even so, analysts anticipate taxpayers will ultimately lose billions on the federal bailout of the automaker – though the rescue effort that also saved rival carmaker Chrysler has been credited with saving as many as 1 million American jobs.

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“This company will always feel a debt of gratitude to the American and Canadian taxpayers for stepping in,” GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson told reporters during a recent roundtable session, his comments also referring to aid the maker received from the Canadian treasury.


GM Steps Up European Restructuring

Sells off French plant.

by on Jan.02, 2013

GM V. Chairman Steve Girsky continues to move forward on the European turnaround effort.

General Motors has reached an agreement that will step up the pace of the restructuring of its European operations by selling off the GM Powertrain operation in Strasbourg, France.

The plant is being sold to Punch Metals International, a private-equity company controlled by the industrial investor Guido Dumarey. Terms of the deal were not spelled out but GM stressed the company’s responsibility vis-as-vis its employees and community.

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Adam Opel AG, GM’s principal subsidiary in Europe, announced plans to close an assembly plant in Bochum, Germany next year. It’s one of the more aggressive steps in a desperate turnaround plan put together by GM vice Chairman Steve Girsky who has been charged with reversing more than a decade of severe losses at GM Europe — the maker recently forecasting it would post another deficit of as much as $1.4 billion in Europe for 2012.


Opel Will Close German Assembly Plant

Critical step in GM’s European turnaround plan.

by on Dec.10, 2012

Job cuts will be handled in a "socially responsible way," promises GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky.

Despite resistance from unions and political leaders, General Motors will move ahead with plans to close an excess assembly plant in Germany, a move seen as critical to the maker’s long-awaited turnaround in the troubled European market.

The news could impact about 3,000 of GM’s 20,000 German employees – but the maker said it will handle the anticipated job cuts in a “socially responsible way.” The question still lingering is whether additional plant closings and job cuts will be necessary to right GM’s floundering Opel subsidiary.

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In a statement, the maker stressed that “The main reasons” for the closure of the Bochum assembly plant “are the dramatic declines in the European car market and the enormous overcapacity in the entire European auto industry.”


GM Europe Won’t Break Even Until Mid-Decade

Further plant closings possible.

by on Nov.01, 2012

GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky leads a new team trying to right the maker's European ship.

Despite an intense turnaround effort that will include plant closings, job cuts, a management shake-up – and a flood of new product – General Motors doesn’t expect its hemorrhaging European operations to be back in the black until mid-decade, according to the executive overseeing that rescue effort.

In the near-term, losses are continuing to mount, $478 million for the third quarter, and the maker upping the projected deficit for all of 2012 to somewhere between $1.5 billion and $1.8 billion. GM Europe has consistently run in the red since 1999, total losses now expected to top $17 billion by year-end.

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But the picture isn’t entirely bleak. GM’s German-based Opel subsidiary has received strongly positive reviews – and a flurry of orders – for new products such as the compact Mokka crossover and Adam minicar, and GM Europe actually going into the black from a cashflow basis for the July – September quarter.

That was “a positive step in this difficult environment for a company that hasn’t had much positive news” in recent years, suggested Steve Girsky, the former Wall Street automotive analyst who now serves as GM Vice Chairman – and who was put in charge of the European turnaround early this year.


European Automakers Compound Their Own Crisis

“Unsustainable” practices conceal depth of crisis, worsen losses.

by on Oct.02, 2012

VW's Winterkorn and Fiat's Marchionne emerge from a meeting aimed at resolving their mounting differences.

Few doubt the European automotive industry’s downward spiral will get worse before things start to improve. But there are growing concerns that the industry is compounding its own problem with “unsustainable” practices that conceal the depth of the downturn while running up losses that have already climbed into the billions of Euros.

And there are few signs that industry leaders – or government regulators – are ready to come together on a common solution that can resolve endemic problems, such as overcapacity, only made worse by the broader European economic meltdown.

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“We are not very bullish about Europe next year,” said a glum Carlos Ghosn, CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, during an appearance at the Paris Motor Show.  “We do not see a rebound in Europe for several years.”