VW to cut jobs and overhaul main plant in face of Tesla challenge

Volkswagen will remodel its important Wolfsburg plant and lower jobs to compete with Tesla’s new German manufacturing facility because it struggles to satisfy demand for its vehicles due to the worldwide semiconductor disaster.

Bottlenecks in chip provide had wiped virtually €500m off Volkswagen’s pre-tax income within the final quarter, the corporate stated on Thursday, as its output shrank by 800,000 vehicles in contrast with the identical interval in 2020.

“Buyer demand is excessive, we now have greater than 1m automobiles in our order financial institution in western Europe alone,” stated chief govt Herbert Diess, including that there was a backlog for 10,000 models of Porsche’s electrical Taycan mannequin, which competes with Tesla’s Mannequin S.

The challenges going through the German group, Europe’s largest maker of electrical vehicles, come as Tesla enjoys document income having delivered a document 241,300 automobiles within the three months to the tip of September.

VW’s woes had been presently “clearly provide not a requirement subject”, Diess stated, including that “the outcomes of the third quarter present as soon as once more that we should now systematically drive ahead the advance in productiveness within the quantity sector.”

Stellantis, whose Peugeot, Citroën, Opel and Fiat manufacturers compete with VW in Europe, has additionally been hit by the chip shortages. The corporate stated on Thursday its manufacturing within the quarter was down by a 3rd.

However the group, fashioned by the merger between PSA and Fiat Chrysler, held quick to its revenue steering of a ten per cent company-wide margin regardless of a 14 per cent drop in revenues to €32.6bn. VW stated it was nonetheless concentrating on a margin of as much as 7.5 per cent.

Diess, who has repeatedly stated he believed a carmaker could be among the many most useful companies on this planet, watched this week as Tesla grew to become a $1tn firm, whereas VW’s market capitalisation is simply $150bn regardless of having delivered simply over 293,000 electrical automobiles within the 9 months to the tip of September.

“There’s a problem from Tesla and we’ll preserve the tempo,” he informed reporters in Wolfsburg on Thursday, referring to the US firm’s plant in close by Grünheide. “We will exhibit that our vehicles are absolutely linked and updatable,” he stated, including that Wolfsburg could be reworked to provide vehicles extra shortly and cheaply.

Thursday’s outcomes come amid renewed clashes between Diess and Volkswagen’s highly effective works council, which represents the vast majority of its 292,000-strong German workforce, together with roughly 60,000 at Wolfsburg.

The council on Wednesday accused the manager of being unwilling to interact with staff who’ve been furloughed and face an unsure future, and of scheduling a gathering with US traders relatively than turning as much as a union appointment.

“This behaviour is unprecedented within the historical past of our firm and reveals as soon as once more that even on this disaster the chief govt has neither empathy nor sensitivity for the scenario of the workforce,” stated Daniela Cavallo, who took over because the council’s lead consultant this 12 months.

Late on Wednesday, Diess cancelled his different appointments and dedicated to assembly the works council, in line with an individual near the chief govt.

However on Thursday Diess reignited the controversy by emphasising that VW would “want some headcount discount” to compete with Tesla. He declined to provide a quantity.

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