Home > Uncategorized > GM to Build More Compact Cars in Europe

GM to Build More Compact Cars in Europe

General Motors’ European arm has recently announced their plan to produce next generation compact cars that will roll out in markets all over the continent. GM has already put up a total investment of 3.1 billion Euros or about $4.2 million USD in four European manufacturing facilities to produce the next generation compact cars. The four manufacturing plants are located in U.K., Germany, Sweden, Poland.

Well, just check out what Carl Peter Forster, President of General Motors Europe has to say about GM’s plan. “Product allocations are extraordinarily difficult decisions to take. All of our Western European plants have significantly improved over the past few years and are now very close in terms of the various measures of performance, such as cost, productivity and quality. In the end, it is a strategic decision based on a number of factors such as capacity planning, brand and market considerations, as well as ongoing restructuring activities.”

“I know that today’s announcements will be very difficult for our workforce in Antwerp. I want to recognize the contribution and performance of the entire team. We are committed to identifying a socially responsible approach to the intent to reduce the headcount later this summer by the reduction of production volume and to discuss alternatives for a fair transition beyond the end of the decade.” Forster added.

“The automotive business remains very challenging and GM Europe must continue to focus on increasing productivity and efficiency in order to compete effectively. We plan for an annual production of 750,000 units of compact cars in Europe, which is an increase over the 535,000 produced in 2006. Even with an increase, adjusting capacity to meet demand remains a challenge for GM as it is for other automakers worldwide. We would like to start soon the preparation work with our teams in Gliwice, Bochum, Ellesmere Port and Trollhättan for the production of the next generation, which will require reduced assembly time and an increase in productivity of 30 percent.”

With this initiative, GM Europe also plans to reduce the production of Opel Astra equipped with quality headlights and taillights at the company’s manufacturing plant in Anterp, Belgium. GM Europe said in a company press release, “There are no plans to allocate compact car production to the Antwerp, Belgium, facility beyond 2010. We are not talking about a plant closure, however, we have to achieve the necessary improvements. No decision has yet been taken on future production but we will work on options for assembly operations at fair volumes together with the European Employee Forum (EEF). GM Europe will continue the process of information and consultation accordingly. GM’s Antwerp plant currently employs 4,500 people to produce the 3- and 5-door version, the station wagon and the convertible of the current-generation Opel Astra.”

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