GM in talks to sell French factory to ZF Friedrichshafen, Punch
FRANKFURT (Bloomberg) -- General Motors Co. is in talks to sell its vehicle-transmission factory in Strasbourg, France, to ZF Friedrichshafen AG and Punch International NV.
ZF and Punch are bidding jointly to acquire the plant, Stefan Weinmann, a GM spokesman, said by telephone last week from Ruesselsheim, Germany. “We continue to be in discussions, but this is not a done deal,” he said, declining to specify a possible price.
ZF and Punch are in “advanced negotiations regarding the production of 8-speed automatic transmissions for ZF in Strasbourg” if the GM plant can be acquired, Marc Maes, a Punch spokesman, said in an e-mail. “We can’t provide a timeline for the discussions.”
GM started a strategic review of the plant in May, hiring Barclays Plc to solicit bids from potential buyers, while also evaluating other options to keep the facility operational. The automaker said last month losses in Europe may reach $1.8 billion this year, and that it’s seeking a return to profit in the region within three years.
Ford Motor Co. has announced plans to close three European factories in the next two years, eliminating 13 percent of its workforce in the region. GM plans to close a plant in Bochum, Germany, in 2016.
Torsten Fiddelke, a ZF Friedrichshafen spokesman, confirmed the company was involved in talks on the plant.
About 1,000 people work at GM’s Strasbourg plant, which produced roughly 280,000 six-speed automatic transmissions last year. The plant, founded in 1967, has primarily supplied non- European GM divisions.Contact Automotive News