VW brand to slash workforce by 7,000

Kenny Grant
March 14, 2019

Chief operating officer of the VW brand Ralf Brandstaetter said in a statement the changes would "make Volkswagen fit for the electric and digital era".

The profit margin at its core VW brand slipped to 3.8% past year, down from 4.2%, as higher investments into electric cars and challenges getting combustion-engined vehicles certified ate into profits.

The VW Group insisted redundancies would not be necessary and the cuts would be achieved by not replacing workers as they retire.

The company also disclosed Tuesday that operating profit at its core Volkswagen brand, one of 12, fell to €3.2-billion from €3.3 billion previous year as the company faced bottlenecks certifying vehicles under new emissions tests.

At the VW brand, executives aim to lift their profit margin to 6.0 percent by 2022, compared with 3.8 percent previous year. Zwickau will also build electric cars for Volkswagen's Seat and Audi brands. The shares have declined 4% in the past 12 months.

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Most of the job cuts are expected to be carried out through retirement offers.

It said that, at the same time, it will create some 2,000 new jobs in technical development.

Bernd Osterloh, VW's powerful labor leader, signaled support for further cutbacks in principal, stressing a job guarantee until at least 2025 remains in place with any job reductions based on voluntary agreements.

Volkswagen states that first adopters of the I.D. will receive special, launch-edition cars, but has not specified how these will stand out from subsequent models.

For this year, the VW nameplate targets revenue growth of as much as 5% and an operating return on sales between 4% and 5%.

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