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GM celebrates 12 million cars in Antwerp

The 12 millionth car produced by General Motors (Opel) in Antwerp rolled off the assembly line on July 10, 79 years after the company first began operations in the port city.

Mike Burns, chief of GM Europe, paid tribute to the facility, saying that “Opel Belgium is one of General Motors’ best European plants”. He added, however, that the company must become even better and even more productive.

Opel Belgium, with some 5,450 employees, is investing more than 500 million euro to launch the new model Astra and to double the capacity of its steel press facility. In January next year the plant will begin production of the five-door Astra, with the station-wagon following in the middle of the year. The three-door version, to be built only by Antwerp, will come into production in 2005. The company expects to build some 260,000 cars in 2004 with 97% of these for export.

July has been a good month for the plant. The World Markets Research Centre (WMRC). reported that Opel Belgium was the fifth most productive car factory in Europe, a rise of two places on the previous year.

Reported by
25 July 2003

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