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.