GERMANY: Volkswagen board meeting - ROUNDUP
Volkswagen's two-day supervisory board meeting ends this week with a continued commitment to the deep restructuring programme announced earlier this year, and the likelihood that that chief executive Bernd Pischetsrieder's contract will be extended.
However a final decision will not now be taken until the next supervisory board meeting on 2 May. Pischetsrieder does have the backing of key shareholder representatives, but labour representatives are withholding their support for Pischetsrieder. "Threatened with 20,000 job cuts, the union is saying, why would we give up our joker card? We'd rather keep it until we reach some kind of agreement with the management," an anonymous Volkswagen executive told the New York Times.
According to dpa-AFX, the possible closure of Volkswagen's Brussels plant, mooted in the press, is definitely not part of the restructuring plan. Press reports have speculated that, by closing Brussels, Volkswagen could avoid some job losses in Germany.
In line with earlier announcements on restructuring and the decision to outsource more component production, the company did announce the sale of its share in Mechatronic to Siemens VDO.
This week's meeting did not discuss returning to a 35-hour week, according to dpa-AFX. Volkswagen's plants in western Germany currently operate on the basis of a 28.8-hour week, but a return to a traditional 35-hour week has been put forward as a way of reducing costs.
A decision about the location of a new plant in Russia should be taken within the next six weeks. According to dpa-AFX, the plant should be in the Moscow region and produce up to 115,000 cars a year for the Russian market.
According to Wirtschaftswoche magazine, the board set a target for return on capital of 8%, and yield on turnover of 6%.