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Opel announce new small car range to be made at Eisenach

The production of a new line of subcompact cars by manufacturer Opel will take place in the Eisenach plant in Thuringia. The contract for the production of ‘Junior’ will see 90 million euros invested in Eisenach.

The Opel factory in Eisenach

Production of the 'Junior' car will start in 2013 in Eisenach

Only a few months after General Motors requested government aid for its German subsidiary Opel, the car giant has announced new investment in one of its German plants.

The contract for the production of a new line of small cars has been handed to the Eisenach Opel plant in Thuringia, eastern Germany.

The production of the subcompact 'Junior' car will see 90 million euros ($120 million) invested in Eisenach.

It also secures the future of around 1,600 Opel employees who are currently working on the manufacture of the small 'Corsa' car. The three-door Corsa is the only model currently being made at the plant and there were concerns for Eisenach's future.

Nick Reilly

The Eisenach plant should now be safe, Reilly said

"With this, Eisenach secures its place within the Opel network," said Opel boss Nick Reilly in Eisenach.

Production of the Junior will start in 2013 and Reilly hopes to roll 100,000 new vehicles off the line. There are also plans for an electric version.

Good news for the region

State premier Christine Lieberknecht welcomed the deal, saying it was "a good day for the whole of Thuringia."

She added that it was "a great relief" after a long period of uncertainty.

At the beginning of the year Opel announced measures to lose 8,300 workers in Europe and to close a plant in Belgium.

General Motors requested loan guarantees of 1.1 billion euros back in June, but was turned down by the government, who said that the company had enough in its cash reserves to help out Opel. GM later withdrew the request.

Opel has four plants and employs roughly 24,000 people in Germany.

Author: Catherine Bolsover (apd/AFP)
Editor: Susan Houlton

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