BERLIN – Confronted by high costs and low productivity, Volkswagen today declared that it is “no longer competitive” and seeks to reduce its work force and boost efficiency as it transitions to electric cars.
“With many of our pre-existing structures, processes and high costs, we are no longer competitive as the Volkswagen brand,” brand chief Thomas Schaefer told a staff meeting at the carmaker’s headquarters in Wolfsburg, as reported by Reuters.
The German carmaker is currently negotiating with employees in a move to save €10 billion ($10.9 billion). VW had previously said it would take take advantage of the “demographic curve” to shrink its workforce and pledged not to engage in layoffs until 2029. Savings will be achieved through partial or early retirement, according to company board member Gunnar Kilian.
However, the bulk of the savings will come through other means that will be revealed at a later time. “We need to finally be brave and honest enough to throw things overboard that are being duplicated within the company or are simply ballast we don’t need for good results,” Kilian said.
(Photos courtesy of Volkswagen.)