On December 21, GM issued a statement saying that it has agreed to sell the transmission plant in Strasbourg, France to PunchMetals International of Belgium.
PunchMetals will retain the original 1,000 jobs in the plant and will sign a long-term contract with General Motors and ZF Shares for the production of an eight-speed transmission. ZF has also agreed to purchase transmissions from the plant. However, the parties did not disclose the amount of the contract for this transaction. They only indicated that they expect to complete the transaction in early 2013.
General Motors plans to maintain its business relationship with the transmission plant in Strasbourg, and will purchase its products in 2013 and 2014, thus keeping the plant's output at a high level, making the transaction a smooth transition.
The Universal Spokesperson added that although the Strasbourg plant belongs to GM's European operations, it does not involve the Opel and Vauxhall brands. The latter two brands do not use transmission equipment manufactured by the plant.
In order to reduce the operating costs in Europe, General Motors failed to close the Strasbourg plant twice in 2009 and 2010. In May of this year, the company conducted a strategic assessment of the plant and commissioned Barclays Bank to find a buyer. GM is expected to lose 1.8 billion U.S. dollars in European operations this year, and cumulative losses since 1999 have reached 17.3 billion U.S. dollars.
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