GM's Opel to end car production at German plant

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 10, 2012 at 7:24 am •  Published: December 10, 2012

Opel's future has long been politically sensitive in Germany. In 2009, GM scrapped a plan — favored by Berlin — to sell a majority stake to a consortium led by Canadian auto parts maker Magna International Inc. and decided to restructure the brands itself instead.

Chancellor Angela Merkel "greatly regrets" Opel's decision to end production in Bochum, spokesman Georg Streiter said.

"The workforce's anger is understandable because there have been some decisions by GM in the past that certainly weren't helpful. For example, the lack of access to certain markets but also the treatment of employees, which has been anything but exemplary," Economy Ministry spokesman Holger Schlienkamp said.

Still, both officials made clear the government doesn't plan to intervene.

Employee representatives said they still hoped to get the decision reversed.

"We have at least four years to make clear that we want to continue building cars in the following years," said Rainer Einenkel, the head of the factory's employee council.