General Motors Co. (GM:US)’s board will hold its quarterly meeting in Germany as the U.S. carmaker looks at the Opel brand’s efforts to become profitable.
The GM directors will meet next week to review the division’s “progress on its 10-year strategy” amid a continuing contraction in the European car market, Ulrich Weber, an Opel spokesman, said today in an e-mailed statement.
GM’s European operations, which consist primarily of Ruesselsheim, Germany-based Opel and its British sister brand Vauxhall, have accumulated losses of $18 billion since 1999. The Detroit-based company has a target for the division to break even by 2015.
The board doesn’t plan to discuss the fate of Opel’s plant in Bochum, Germany, Weber said. Bild newspaper reported today that the GM executives would include the pending shutdown of the Bochum factory in their discussions at a two-day emergency meeting starting April 9.
Labor representatives at the Bochum site, which is scheduled to lose its carmaking operations at the end of 2014, haven’t been invited to the GM board meeting, said Rainer Einenkel, the works council leader at the plant.
“We want to participate in discussions and not be treated as spectators in decisions that actually concern us,” he said.
Employees at the Bochum factory, which makes Opel’s Zafira minivan, rejected a plan in March that would have included wage freezes in exchange for job guarantees while production would have been extended through 2016. Opel’s other four German facilities, which don’t face a shutdown, agreed to pay freezes.
Opel’s car sales in Germany last month dropped 17 percent from a year earlier, in line with the market’s contraction, according to figures released yesterday by the country’s Federal Motor Vehicle Office.
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