News: Opel/ Vauxhall, the European division of US automaker General Motors Company (GM), will shut down plants for up to 10 days in the UK and Germany, reports Just Auto. Opel will close its RÃ¼sselsheim, Kaiserslautern and Eisenach plants for 10 days from September 3 and later on September 7, 10, 17, 21, followed by the working week starting September 24. Vauxhall will shut down its Ellesmere Port and Luton plants in the UK for the week of September 24. The move comes as GM aims to address its overcapacity amid the prolonged European downturn, which has also affected other carmakers.
BMI View: BMI has long maintained that union strength is the main reason we have not witnessed more substantial job cuts and plant closures from a number of mass market auto manufacturers in Europe. As many companies see declining sales and rising production costs in the region, it will be increasingly necessary for production to become more flexible, and we believe companies will continue to shift their strategic focus away from the region.