2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 05:39
The global financial crisis is also affecting German manufacturers. Production stops and layoffs are the first consequences.
The carmakers in Germany come under the wheels of the global financial crisis: Due to falling sales figures and concerns about the deterioration of the situation, some manufacturers are reducing their production. Opel announced on Tuesday that it would stop the production lines in almost all European plants for two to three weeks. The Munich carmaker BMW also interrupts production at its Leipzig location in the last week of October. Ford is dismissing around 200 temporary workers two months earlier than planned because of the slack sales across Europe at its Saarlouis location. At the beginning of August, the car manufacturer Daimler had announced that it would be painting layers in several German plants and in the US plant in Tuscaloosa.
Premium segment hardly threatened
The industry is divided into two parts because things tend to be better in the premium and luxury segments. The Italian luxury sports car manufacturer Maserati is expecting a new production record for this year despite the worsening financial crisis. Audi is planning to expand its capacities at its headquarters in Ingolstadt despite the weakening auto economy and speaks of a "positive situation".
Because of the ongoing financial crisis, the European auto industry asked EU politicians for help a few days ago. The manufacturers asked for a range of support measures such as a low-interest loan package of 40 billion euros to develop more fuel-efficient vehicles, as well as incentives for customers to replace cars that are more than eight years old.
Reluctance to buy
"The financial crisis means that people in Europe are holding back when buying a car," said an Opel spokesman in Rüsselsheim. This is especially true for Spain, Germany and Great Britain. Opel plans to cut production by around 40,000 vehicles by the end of the year - in 2007 1.74 million cars were sold in Europe. The main plant in Rüsselsheim, which is converting to production of the new mid-range Insignia, is not affected. On the other hand, the lines in Bochum with 5000 and Eisenach with 1800 employees stand still for up to three weeks, and some in Kaiserslautern. The locations in Gliwice / Poland, Ellesmere Port and Luton / England and Saragossa / Spain are also affected.
Opel will compensate its employees for lost work, among other things, by reducing overtime to working time accounts. There should be no layoffs, but the works council fears wage losses and shortened working hours without wage compensation.
2800 BMWs are not built
BMW interrupts production at its Leipzig location in the last week of October. "BMW is also reacting to market developments, particularly in the USA," said a spokesman. Accordingly, the production lines in Leipzig stand still for four days and 2,800 cars are not built.
The car manufacturer Ford is laying off around 200 temporary workers two months earlier than planned in Saarlouis. The employees' contracts, which were limited to the end of the year, were terminated on October 31, said a Ford spokesman. The factory in Saarland mainly produces for export. Ford employs around 6,500 people at the site.
VW defies the crisis
Despite a decline in sales of its core brand Mercedes-Benz in September, Daimler does not want to cut production any further. "We always aim to keep the vehicle inventory at the lowest possible level," said a spokesman. In the summer, Daimler announced that it would reduce emissions by 45,000 vehicles by the end of the year. The spokesman said that there was nothing more to say.
Volkswagen is currently not planning any production cuts. A VW spokesman said that the VW group had so far successfully asserted itself in the difficult market environment. «We are monitoring the market development very closely. We have extensive flexibility in order to be able to make any necessary adjustments in production. However, the VW subsidiary Seat announced last week that it would cut production by five percent.
Regardless of the economic slowdown, Audi is expanding its capacities at its headquarters in Ingolstadt. "We need more space for production, especially for the body shop," said a spokesman. There are no short-term production cuts as with other manufacturers. "Overall, the situation is very encouraging," said the spokesman. Audi reported an increase in sales of 12.3 percent to 95,137 vehicles for September. The VW subsidiary plans to sell more than a million cars in the year as a whole.
The luxury sports car manufacturer Maserati, which belongs to the Fiat Group, is also doing good business. In the first eight months, the number of cars sold worldwide rose by almost 40 percent to 5900 vehicles. The production of 7353 cars from the previous year will be significantly exceeded in 2008. This year Maserati says it is in the black for the second time in a row. (dpa)
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