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Opel to slash Astra production

2006-11-19 09:36
General Motors plans to cut production of its Astra and Vectra cars by about 9 percent next year as its new Corsa cannibalises sales of the Astra, its best-selling car in Europe, Germany's Automobilwoche reported.

Citing confidential company documents, the magazine said on Saturday that production of the Astra compact and the Zafira vans based on the Astra model would fall to 690 000 from 750 000 in 2007.

Production of Vectras would be cut to 127 000 next year from 144 000 this year, the report said, and could fall to 110 000 vehicles in 2007 in the worst case scenario.

A spokesperson for Opel, under whose brand the cars are sold in Germany, declined to comment directly on the report but said it was normal for demand to start dropping off halfway through a model's lifecycle.

GM made a loss of $10.6bn in 2005 and is cutting tens of thousands of jobs and closing plants in an effort to return to profitability.


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