Carmaker Opel to close German Bochum plant in 2014

Opel plant in Bochum Bochum has been making Opel cars for decades

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German carmaker Opel has announced the planned closure of one of its factories by the end of 2014 after a deal with unions fell through.

In February, Opel proposed to keep its Bochum plant in western Germany open until 2016 in exchange for a wage freeze and other cost-cutting measures.

The plan was rejected by the unions, who described it as too vague.

Opel, which trades under the Vauxhall brand in the UK, is a subsidiary of US giant General Motors (GM).

It has been loss-making for more than a decade and has been under pressure to cut costs.

Last week GM pledged to invest 4bn euros ($5.2bn; £3.4bn) in Opel, stemming speculation that the subsidiary could be sold.

The Bochum plant has produced cars for about 50 years.

Opel's plan included ending car production in 2016, but retaining it as a components and logistics centre, saving 1,200 jobs.

The closure would cost more than 3,000 jobs, and be the first closure of a car factory in Germany for decades.

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