Opel's union and management appear headed toward a clash over where the General Motors subsidiary will produce three key models. Opel union boss Klaus Franz wants plants in Poland, Germany and Spain to be chosen over GM's factory in South Korea to make the next-generation Agila and Antara as well as a new small crossover positioned below the Antara.
An Opel spokesman told Automotive News Europe that final decisions have not been made on where these future models will be built.
The union wants the Agila replacement to be made in Gliwice, Poland. "We definitely won't build the next generation of our Agila with Suzuki [in Hungary]," Franz told ANE. "GM would like to have the subcompact produced in South Korea. Instead, we will fight to have it built in Gliwice, starting in late 2014."
The only vehicle made at Opel's factory in Bochum, Germany, is the Zafira minivan, so the unions want to secure the plant's long-term future by adding the next-generation Opel Antara medium SUV and its sibling model, the Chevrolet Captiva, starting in 2014. Both SUVs are currently made in South Korea.
Chevys made in Europe
Said Franz: "GM CEO Dan Akerson is correct in saying that Chevrolets should be built in Europe, too. In keeping with the philosophy that 'production follows the market,' we are making the case for assembling the next generation of the Antara in Bochum together with the Chevrolet Captiva, since it is based on the compact high-roof architecture."
GM also plans to have a small SUV built in South Korea starting in late 2012, but Franz said Opel is "making the case to build the car in our Spanish factory in Zaragoza. Unfortunately, there isn't much chance that GM will change its mind."
He added that Zaragoza urgently needs more volume since the Combo van's output was shifted to Turkey. In addition, Franz said the production of some Corsa volume has been transferred from Zaragoza to Eisenach, Germany, recently.