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Opel's Bochum plant to stop production of cars

German carmaker Opel, a part of General Motors' European division, has announced it will stop producing complete cars at its Bochum facility in Germany by 2016. But the plant may still make components.

Struggling German automaker Opel said on Monday it would stop the production of cars at its Bochum plant in the west of the country. "The assembly of whole cars will end in Bochum by 2016," Interim Opel Chief Executive Thomas Sedran told DPA news agency.

The General Motors subsidiary has had many years of sluggish car sales across Europe in the grip of a protracted debt crisis, causing the parent company in the US billions of euros each year.

Up to 3,000 jobs could be lost at the 50-year-old Bochum plant, although management said Opel would not withdraw completely from the location.

Looking for alternative jobs

"Opel will stay in Bochum with its logistics center," the company said in a statement. "And there may also be a unit producing car components yet to be specified."

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Opel to stop making cars at Bochum plant

Opel announced that the location's distribution center, with a workforce of 430, would also remain in place, adding that it may in future employ many more people. "We already have some ideas as to how to expand the center," Opel said without giving any details.

The announcements about the future of the Bochum plant were made at a staff meeting on Monday morning, after the workforce had grappled with rumors about plant closures for several months. Now there's clarity that full-cycle car assembly will stop after the end of the production of the current Zafira model.

hg/hc (dpa, AFP, Reuters)

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