Union idea for saving Opel's Belgian plant is ambitious, unrealistic

Luca Ciferri is an Automotive News staff reporter based in Turin, Italy.
All my sympathy goes to workers who are trying to save their jobs and prevent Opel from closing its plant in Antwerp, Belgium.

Nevertheless, a union proposal to use the car plant to build small volumes for other automakers is in conflict with the reality in Europe today. Other automakers are in-sourcing as much production as possible to save their own plants and jobs.

Most European contract manufacturers are already out of business or are preparing an exit. Others were bought from bankruptcy by automakers for their own production needs.

Even Europe's largest contract manufacturer, Magna Steyr, of Graz, Austria, is struggling to maintain decent output.

Never say never, but the work just doesn't appear to be there. This idea isn't likely to keep Antwerp open.