GM to make next Opel Astra at four plants

By From Automotive News| Apr 17 2007
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General Motors Europe will build the next-generation Astra compact car at four plants in Europe, including its German factory in Bochum, Germany's Auto Zeitung newspaper reported today, citing Opel sources.

It did not name the other three plants that will get work for the new Delta platform of cars led by the Astra, GM's best-selling car in Europe with nearly half a million units sold last year.

The paper said an announcement was due on Tuesday, April 17.

GM makes the current Astra in Antwerp, Belgium; in Bochum; and in Ellesmere Port, Britain. Its Gliwice plant in Poland and the Trollhattan factory in Sweden also want the work.

General Motors's European workforce has already offered to cut costs by about $393 million (290 million euros) to improve competitiveness in the hope of preventing the closure of a another European plant, labor representatives said this month.

GM Europe's top labor leader, Klaus Franz, said there had been no decision yet on production sites for the next Astra, which is due for market launch in 2010.

A GM Europe spokesman in Zurich called the report "speculative" and declined further comment. A spokesman for GM's German brand Opel also declined comment.

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