Just two layers instead of three? Volkswagen is reacting to weakening demand for electric cars and is preparing for permanent two-shift operation at the Zwickau plant. It already exists in one of the production lines. If this were to occur permanently due to weak demand, there is a risk of further layoffs for temporary employees, according to MDR information.
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Due to the weak demand for electric cars, the Volkswagen Group has prepared itself to be able to reduce its production in Zwickau in the long term. As announced by the company at MDR SACHSEN, an agreement has been reached with the works council. As a result, two production lines could be converted from three to two shifts next year. However, the final decision depends on the market situation. VW wants to protect its Zwickau location.
A production line in Zwickau already operates on two shifts
The ID.3 and Cupra Born models, among others, are produced in Zwickau. As of this week, this same production line only works on two shifts instead of three. A spokesperson explained that management and the works council have agreed on this point. In September, management terminated a corresponding 1991 company agreement.
Reluctant demand for electric cars could cost more jobs
The Zwickau plant was the first of the group to be completely converted to the production of electric cars. But demand is developing less strongly than expected. Furthermore, electric cars are now produced at other VW and Audi plants. Therefore, production in Zwickau was temporarily reduced already in October and currently only one of the two production lines is in operation.
According to a study by MDR UMSCHAU, the capacity utilization of the Zwickau plant is currently only 60%. Instead of the possible 360,000 vehicles, only 220,000 electric cars will leave the production halls in Zwickau this year. If the situation does not improve next year, up to 2,200 jobs for temporary workers will be at risk, according to MDR information.
In addition to Volkswagen employees, many other employees in the subcontracting sector will be affected by the sharp decline in demand for electric cars, fears Thomas Knabel, trade union representative at IG Metall Zwickau. Experts hypothesize a drought period of about two years. This also has consequences for employment. A number of expiring contracts for temporary employees have not been extended, and many others without permanent work are worried about their jobs. “The concern remains about where the journey will take us,” Knabel said.
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This topic in the program:MDR SACHSEN – Sachsenradio | Regional news from the Chemnitz studio | November 14, 2023 | 9:00 am