GERMANY: Is Kia about to rescue Karmann?
Kia is negotiating with Karmann to outsource some vehicle production, potentially saving further job cuts at the company.
According to Automobilwoche, Kia is considering giving Karmann a major contract. The Korean company has had some dealings with Karmann before. Between 1995 and 1998 it assembled the Sportage. At the Geneva motor show earlier this year, Kia presented a soft-top cabrio version of the Cee'd developed in conjunction with Karmann.
Kia has reportedly not yet decided whether it will build the Cee'd cabriolet. Even if it does go ahead Kia could build the car while the roof could be assembled externally. Karmann is one candidate for this.
Karmann is not entering into any talk with the press over speculation about new contracts, fearing it could harm any negotiations. However, recent reports have suggested that current talks with an OEM are for the assembly of a complete vehicle, and that this contract could guarantee jobs at the company for some years to come. The latest news suggest this OEM is Kia.
Karmann announced 1,770 job cuts last month, with further job losses if it did not win a major new vehicle assembly contract.