Opel in Rüsselsheim does not seem to tolerate longer periods of rest. The approximately 2,200 employees in the main plant will still experience something historic by the end of the year - for the first time since the 1990s, Opel will produce three models in southern Hesse at the same time, the mid-range Insignia, the French DS 4 compact sedan and the new Astra. At the same time, trade unionists are now warning of the "smashing of Opel". Some in the workforce are even reminded of the fate of Hoechst AG in Frankfurt, as can be seen in a leaflet from representatives of IG Metall in the works council.

The reason is a reflection from the Stellantis Group, to which Opel has belonged since the merger of the Peugeot parent company PSA with Fiat Chrysler: The Group is checking whether the Rüsselsheim and Eisenach plants will become “separate legal and production organizations”.

Stellantis expects financial benefits from this through a more efficient and flexible production organization.

As a result, it will be easier to decide where which model will be built.

Stellantis points out that the Eisenach plant had already been independent for 23 years under General Motors.

"Of course, the working conditions for all employees should remain unchanged, the existing collective bargaining agreements and works agreements should continue to apply," emphasized a spokesman for Stellantis.

"Escape from codetermination"

The general works council counters that no plant has to be separated from Opel in order to better decide where a car is to be manufactured. The DS 4 proves this. Eisenach was reintegrated into Opel in 2013 because this allowed more flexibility, not less. In spite of the group's assertions to the contrary, employee representatives now mean that Stellantis is starting to “escape from co-determination”. There is talk of a “further break-up” of the car manufacturer.

Anyone who has observed the car market in recent years may meanwhile ask: What kind of dismantling?

Stellantis boss Carlos Tavares, who previously headed PSA, is considered to be strictly cost-driven and has ordered Opel downsizing.

But he did not close factories - this happened under the previous owner General Motors.

Unlike the Americans, PSA has managed to bring the brand with the lightning bolt back into profitability.

Profits may not be an end in themselves, but no company can survive in the long run from deficits.

Since Opel is now a Stellantis subsidiary, all plants also belong to the group.

Just like the locations in Kaiserslautern, Ellesmere Port or Saragossa.

From now on Rüsselsheim will benefit from this in the form of the DS 4.

Unlike competitors, profitable

Comparing Opel with Hoechst AG seems absurd for one reason: The splitting of what was once the world's largest chemical and pharmaceutical company into dozen of companies and business areas in the second half of the 1990s was preceded by a lack of profitability - none of that can happen at the car manufacturer Be speech. On the contrary: after 19 years in the red, the brand with the lightning bolt made profits before interest and taxes for three years in a row. 2.5 billion euros in total. In contrast to other car manufacturers, the company remained profitable even during the Corona period.

Anyone who thinks through the comparison with Hoechst also says goodbye to Opel.

Because after the split in the nineties, the name of the Frankfurt chemical company soon disappeared from everyday business life.

Why should Stellantis do this with its only German subsidiary?

Keywords: opel, rüsselsheim, eisenach, parent company, plants, psa, reflection, dispute, carlos tavares, stellantis, plant, comparisons, workforce, fiat chrysler: the group, time