Low convertible demand sparks job cuts image

Even though the summer is upon us, in Germany for example, the low interest in open top cars has sparked one of the players in the segment – Valmet Automotive – to plan job cuts, according to the IG Metall German union.

IG Metall’s regional director Stephan Soldanski disclosed the Finland-based producer would cut at a roof systems plant employing 400 people in Osnabrueck, western Germany around 300 positions – all the production positions and some white-collar employees being affected. The roof-making production facility was bought from contract carmaker and cabrio specialist Karmann in 2010. Soldanski added that together with the consequent job cuts in adjacent businesses, the tally could exceed 900 people.

The IG Metall executive said that Valmet plans to transfer some of the outgoing positions to Poland, while the others would be eliminated gradually through 2017. The production shift to Poland is designed to cut costs for the company, as the lower-wage eastern European country has an average cost in the manufacturing sector of just 6.65 euros per worker/hour in 2012 – compared to Germany’s 36.98 euros, according to data coming from Cologne-based IW economic institute.

In Osnabrueck the Volkswagen Group has a production facility employing 1,900 people, which currently assemble Porsche sports cars and also the VW Golf Cabrio.

Via Automotive News Europe