FRANKFURT (Reuters) - General Motors (GM.N) will start building the Chevrolet Cruze at the end of 2014 at its Opel plant in Poland, a German newspaper reported on Thursday, drawing a denial from the U.S. company.
“There has been no decision made about where the next generation Cruze will be built,” a spokesman for Chevrolet Europe said on Thursday.
Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung cited an internal production plan as the source of the information.
While a production plan would indicate GM is serious about moving the Cruze to Poland, speculation of such a move is nothing new, especially after the U.S. carmaker confirmed the next generation model due in late 2014 would not be built in South Korea.
Reuters reported in January 2012, citing people from within the company who declined to be identified, that there were talks between management and labor in Europe over whether to shift Cruze production from Korea to the Gliwice factory in Poland to lower losses at Opel. This prompted Korean unions to threaten they would “wage a war”.
Gliwice would be a natural candidate for budget brand Chevrolet. It is the only low-cost Opel plant in Europe and it also builds the Cruze sibling compact Opel Astra. Both cars could likely be built on one assembly line with a minimum of additional investment.
Reporting by Christiaan Hetzner; editing by Patrick Graham