Vauxhall/Opel claims Wall Street Journal report regarding future cuts is "speculation"

Vauxhall/Opel has dismissed a report in the Wall Street Journal that claimed it faces another round of job cuts and potential a closure of its Ellesmere Port plant as "pure speculation".

The report, citing an unnamed GM official, claimed GM is poised to reveal substantial losses for Vauxhall/Opel in its 2011 financial results. The source said there is “increasing frustration” towards Vauxhall/Opel from within GM and that “the cuts two years ago did not go far enough.”

“If Opel is going to get fixed,” added the source, “it is going to get fixed now and cuts are going to be deep.”

But Vauxhall/Opel insists that GM remains committed to its causes. A statement in response to the Wall Street Journal said: "The management of the Opel management works council and supervisory board is all in agreement that it has to become profitable even in tough economic times. We're discussing strategy and will keep employees and the public informed. We're on a good path with an excellent product range and six new launches in 2012."

Other sources in the report claimed GM is already in discussions with union leaders about plant closures and job cuts. Switching some Chevrolet production from Korea to Europe has also been mooted as a way to cut costs and address under capacity, although it is believed such a deal is a way off.

Autocar sources have revealed that orders for Ellesmere Port-built left-hand drive five-door Astras were well down towards the end of last year, reflecting the troubled European economic state.

Ellesmere Port has also long been rumoured to be in the running for production of the second-generation Chevrolet Volt/Vaxuhall Ampera, and Autocar understands that a model has already been test built there. But despite this being considered a success, a decision has still not been taken on the future build of the Ampera at Ellesmere Port.

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22

8 February 2012

This is how GM lowers its break-even point. They make their production plants fight for existence. Yes there is over capacity but this is more to do with how GM motivates its employees in a round-about way of saying.. If you don't pull your socks up you're gone. Where as other companies pay good overtime rates and bonuses for good work. GM would rather use the approach. "You should think yourself lucky you've got a job".

8 February 2012

[quote Autocar] Autocar sources have revealed orders for Ellesmere Port-built left-hand drive five-door Astras were well down towards the end of last year, reflecting the troubled European economic state. [/quote]

Nothing to do with the economy, its down to the fact it is a poor product.

8 February 2012

I wish GM had just sold Vauxhall/Opel when they had the chance. Someone else could do a much better job.

8 February 2012

[quote WooDz]GM would rather use the approach. "You should think yourself lucky you've got a job".[/quote] It's the "American Way" - have a senior management that is afraid to take individual responsibility for the tough decisions, wait for it all to go wrong, blame someone else and then walk away.


Enjoying a Fabia VRs - affordable performance

9 February 2012

[quote Citytiger][quote Autocar] Autocar sources have revealed orders for Ellesmere Port-built left-hand drive five-door Astras were well down towards the end of last year, reflecting the troubled European economic state. [/quote]

Nothing to do with the economy, its down to the fact it is a poor product.[/quote]

It does stagger me that some people read motoring websites and yet clearly have no idea what they are talking about.

9 February 2012

[quote Buzz Cagney]It does stagger me that some people read motoring websites and yet clearly have no idea what they are talking about.[/quote]

Glad I'm not the only one who thought that!

Anyway, what I think should be most worrying is that Vauxhall is not considered profitable, yet makes three of the UK's top 10 best selling cars. So, sales volume is obviously not too bad (maybe not true of the rest of Europe though), must be overheads (especially compared to the Japanese and Korean manufacturers) that are the problem. They won't fix that easily and still keep production in Europe.

9 February 2012

I had two Corsas as hire cars this week. One of which was the latest SE model, which impressed me at first. There is a very nice "thunk" of the doors, it has heated seats and even a heated steering wheel.

However, they then cut corners by deleting silly things like a glove box light (wiring and switch still there though!) and not having a message or warning light for open doors, even though it has two graphic displays it could use... Just a very annoying and confusing "bong" sound. The 1.2 engine was rough too. Not to mention a very poor colour match on the painted bumper plastics...

This kind of thing winds me up, so my next car is likely to be anything but a Vauxhall, which is a shame, because at first glance they seem pretty good.

9 February 2012

[quote March1]Anyway, what I think should be most worrying is that Vauxhall is not considered profitable, yet makes three of the UK's top 10 best selling cars. So, sales volume is obviously not too bad (maybe not true of the rest of Europe though), must be overheads[/quote]

I think the problem is that those three strong-selling cars are doing well in terms of market share only because they rely on fleet deals sold at massive discounts. Vauxhall is desperate to increase sales to private punters, which is where the margins start to make sense, I guess.

9 February 2012

This may be an over-simplification but the car buyers appear to fall into three general categories, Private Value, Business Company and Luxury.

Private sales occur most in the first and last categories because those buyers will accept low perceived quality for low cost or pay for 'the best'. It's rare private buyers will accept the quality/cost compromise mid-market cars provide.

Company-car drivers lean towards features, comfort and economy but for minimum cost - landing them in the middle ground.

In Europe Vauxhall/Opel have been unable to break from their mid-ground position because private buyers are brand aware and they expect to get the same car but better value from Chevvy and don't perceive any GM brand competing with 'the best'. It's a familiar problem.

In the current market I believe Vaux/Opel have to make the discount heavy company mid-ground pay better or they'll die.

9 February 2012

[quote Paul123]I think the problem is that those three strong-selling cars are doing well in terms of market share only because they rely on fleet deals sold at massive discounts. [/quote]

Have you the breakdown compared to Ford Private/ Company sales figures? or the sort of massive discount ? Only I'm interest to see how low companies are prepared to go.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

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