GENEVA (AP) -- Ailing automaker General Motors Corp. could slash up to 3,500 jobs at its German subsidiary Adam Opel GmbH as part of a restructuring plan, the company said Wednesday.
Spokesman Andreas Kroemer confirmed reports in a German newspaper, which cited GM Europe President Carl-Peter Forster saying Opel could make the job cuts to cut costs. "But that's exactly what we want to avoid," Forster told the Bild Zeitung.
Forster had told reporters in Geneva on Tuesday that GM Europe could be forced to close three factories as it seeks to achieve $1.2 billion (euro1 billion) in cost cuts through restructuring. He said they were considering other measures to protect the jobs, including salary cuts, voluntary resignations and other employee concessions.
GM Europe employs 50,000 workers, building cars in Germany, Belgium, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Britain.
GM would like to spin off Opel as a separate company as part of a plan to return to profitability by 2011. GM Europe is also seeking euro3.3 billion from Germany and other countries where it operates, saying it could face insolvency if it doesn't get the injection by the second quarter. Forster has confirmed talks with Britain and Spain, beyond the well-publicized discussions with the German government.
Opel is investing in new technologies in the hope of beating the global economic downturn by selling models such as the electric Ampera by 2011. The 4-door hatchback sedan was unveiled at the Geneva Auto Show on Tuesday.