Bosch is to ‘drastically cut back’ operations at its German locations from 25 March.

At some locations, this started successively from 23 March.

The move was agreed by the company and Central Works Council and will affect 35 sites of the Mobility Solutions business sector in Germany, as well as locations performing corporate functions.

“In taking the measure, the company is reacting to the drastic drop in demand for vehicles, especially in Europe and the associated production shutdowns by automakers,” said a Bosch statement. “Bosch will decide on further suitable measures to guarantee heightened protection against the risk of coronavirus infection for all its workforce.

“The necessary preparations will be made over the next few days. In a first phase, the associates affected will be asked to reduce or offset their overtime accounts and/or take vacation. In a second phase, the company plans to introduce reduced working hours by 5 April at the latest.

“The details of this are currently being worked out. It is currently unclear how long these measures will last. This will depend on further developments.”

Differences from location to location mean details of how the decision will be put into practice, such as the precise timing and duration of these cutbacks, will be agreed locally, together with employee representatives at the respective locations.

Necessary, business-critical activities and selected manufacturing and engineering activities are to be continued, also in view of the current gradual recovery of the Chinese automotive market.

“With reliable supplies of products, Bosch wants to help encourage this trend,” added the supplier. “By supplying necessary parts to commercial vehicle manufacturers and for vehicle maintenance, Bosch is also helping to maintain the transport of goods and people worldwide.

“In addition, the company wants to be ready to satisfy its automotive customers’ requirements quickly and in the best possible way once the market recovers. Bosch is in close contact with its associates, customers, partners, and suppliers.”

A number of other European locations are also affected by the drop in demand for vehicles.

Here, the company is consulting closely with customers and local employee representatives in order to reach viable, location-specific solutions.