MUNICH -- General Motors Co.'s Opel unit said it will close down its factory in Bochum, Germany, earlier than planned after the plant's employees turned down a deal that would have saved more than a third of the location's jobs.
Opel said production of the factory's sole model, the Zafira Tourer minivan, will run out by the end of 2014. The unit had agreed in February with national union leaders to continue production at the Bochum plant through 2016, and keep part of the facility open as a parts and logistics center, saving about 1,200 of the location's more than 3,000 jobs.
Some 76 percent of employees rejected the offer in a vote with a turnout of nearly 70 percent, the IG Metall union said.
"The vote is clear," said Knut Giesler, the regional head of IG Metall. "I see the results as a clear no-confidence vote for the management of Opel. Too many mistakes, too many false promises for eight years."
Manfred Gellrich, the factory's boss, said in a statement: "A huge opportunity has now been missed. We very much regret that the employees in Bochum did not accept an attractive offer."
GM plans to end vehicle production in Bochum as part of restructuring to cut excess capacity and return the company's money-losing European operations to profit.