Opel has made it official for some time that it will cease vehicle production at its Bochum, Germany plant. This might seem a bit surprising, but this is the first shutdown of a car factory in Germany since World War II.
If you don’t know much about Bochum, that’s fine. We’ve never been there, but more people probably drive manuals there. As far as the Opel plant goes, transmissions for Opel and Vauxhall cars are made by 300 employees, whom will be receiving severance packages by the end of this year. The transmission department is one of many branches at the facility, and the others will continue to stay open even after the transmission unit closes up. Employees who choose not to take the severance package will have the opportunity to move to another Opel factory, or join a transfer company for a period of 12 months, to help them find a new career.
According to The Detroit News, Opel’s primary reason for closing the plant is to reduce some costs for its less profitable brands, along with some less-than-ideal union negotiations.
Since 1999, Opel and Vauxhall have seen combined losses of $18 billion, and wish to change that, and the closing of Bochum is part of the company’s plan to do so.