General Motors announced its intention to wind down its manufacturing plant located in Antwerp, Belgium during 2010. Opel C.E.O., Nick Reilly, commented, “We fully understand the effect this announcement has on the Antwerp employees and their families and we sympathize with them. Many have been dedicated to the plant over generations and have done an excellent job producing great quality cars. The decision to announce this today, was not taken lightly; instead, it is the unfortunate result of the current business reality. We must make this announcement now so that we can secure a viable future for the entire Opel and Vauxhall operations.” The Company explains, “The global economic crisis has led to a major downturn in the automotive industry. The Western European car market in 2010 is expected to be 1.5 million vehicles below 2009 levels and almost 4 million below its peak in 2007. It is not expected to return anytime soon – if ever – to these peak levels, resulting in significant overcapacity in general and at Opel in particular. To ensure long-term sustainability for the company, Opel needs to reduce capacity by approximately 20 percent. In view of current capacity utilization at all European Opel and Vauxhall plants, planned future product portfolio, timing requirements and financial impact, winding down the Antwerp plant would be the most logical approach for the company.”
About George Putnam
George Putnam, III the principle owner of New Generation Research, Inc., is a graduate of both Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School. He first became involved with distressed securities as a lawyer in the late 1970s. After seeing the inefficient niche that bankruptcies operated in, he founded New Generation Research, Inc. in 1986 with The Turnaround Letter and The Bankruptcy DataSource being the first offerings. Since then he has frequently been quoted in Barron’s, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today and other financial publications for his thoughts on distressed and bankruptcy investing and research. In 1990, he was named investment advisor of the year by USA Today. In addition to his responsibilities at New Generation Research, Inc., Mr. Putnam also serves as a trustee for The Putnam Companies, a mutual fund group with over $100 billion in assets.