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Sunday, March 25, 2012
Just how much money did US taxpayers dump into GM to save US jobs?
GM plans to boost output in low-cost countries
By Frankfurt Bureau
FRANKFURT -(MarketWatch)- General Motors Co. GM+0.48% doesn't only plan to close the Opel plant in Germany's Bochum and the plant in U.K.'s Ellesmere Port but plans to simultaneously boost capacity in so-called low-cost countries such as Poland, Russia, China, India, Mexico and Brazil, according to a GM strategy paper that was presented at the GM Global Business Conference, weekly magazine Der Spiegel reports.
According to the strategy paper, named Global Assembly Footprint, GM plans to manufacture up to 80% of additional vehicles in these countries once unit sales rise, the magazine reports, saying currently about half its cars are manufactured in "high-cost countries" in Northern America and Europe.
For instance, in Poland's Gliwice plant, where Opel's Astra model is manufactured, production capacity will rise 25% while manufacturing of the Opel Zafira model in the Bochum plant shall be shut down by 2015 at the latest, the magazine reports.
GM plans to increasingly serve the European market by imports from its plants in low-cost countries, the magazine says, with 300,000 additional cars from plants in Mexico, South Korea and China being exported to Europe until 2016.
In addition, GM plans to lower the number of models worldwide by 2018, by reducing the number of car-manufacturing platforms to less than 15 from the current 30 and by barely developing models for a specific market such as Europe, the magazine reports.
Spokespeople for GM's Opel unit in Germany weren't immediately available on Sunday to comment on the Spiegel report when contacted by Dow Jones Newswires.