Eisenach plant could be sold to Daimler as part of restructuring plan
27 February 2009

Opel is looking to sell the Eisenach plant that makes the Corsa supermini to Daimler, according to reports in the German press.

The Financial Times Deutchsland reports that Opel has approached Daimler over the sale of the factory, which employs 1900 people.

Despite publicly distancing itself from the possibility of a full-scale takeover of Opel earlier this week, Daimler would certainly have use for the Eisenach factory.

Read more on Daimler’s denial of a potential takeover of Opel

Daimler is currently planning to build an all-new factory in Hungary for the next-generation Mercedes A-class, at an estimated cost of €800m (£714m). The Eisenach plant, with its ready-trained skilled workforce, would be a much cheaper alternative.

The news comes on an important day for Opel, as senior management are due to present a radical restructuring plan to the company’s supervisory board.

The plan is expected to include large-scale job losses, but a sale of Eisenach to Daimler could help to safeguard thousands of jobs across several Opel/Vauxhall factories, including the Ellesmere Port facility and Germany's Bochum plant, which builds Zafiras and Astras.

After a meeting with GM CEO Rick Wagoner, Juergen Ruettgers, premier of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, where the Bochum plant is located, said, “This is an important day for Opel and for the German economy. I want to say one thing which is important to me: I can't imagine a concept that would assume the closure of an Opel site in Germany.”

Matt Rigby

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