MADRID -- Opel will resume full capacity at its Zaragoza plant in northern Spain when the latest generation of its Corsa model is built in 2013, the head of European operations for its U.S. parent General Motor Co. told Spanish newspaper Expansion.
"The new generation of Corsa will be made in Spain and it will arrive that year (2013)," GM Europe President Nick Reilly said in an interview published on Monday. "GM's intention is to maintain the plant at full capacity."
Reilly said he expects GM Europe to reach breakeven in 2011 and post a profit next year, compared with a loss of $637 million in 2010.
"Opel's orders, like those of the rest of the carmakers, are still very strong. Nothing indicates that we'll have a bigger crisis, even though the market is weak," he said.
Opel's workers are pushing GM to shift more production to Europe by making the next generation of several models there.
Last month, Opel union boss Klaus Franz told Automotive News Europe that he 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.
He added that the Zaragoza plant urgently needed more volume after the Combo van's output was shifted to Turkey and the production of some Corsa volume had been transferred from Zaragoza to Germany.
Sources: Reuters; ANE Staff reports