The world’s largest automotive supplier, Bosch, has introduced shorter working times at its plant in Bamberg, Stuttgart.

Some 3,500 workers will see their hours halved to 17.5 hours a week for the next six months. Discussions are being held at other plants to see if shorter working hours can be introduced there too, reported the German press agency, dpa.

The Bamberg plant produces diesel components. A total of 8,000 people are employed at the site. Other plants that are seeing hours cut because of a slow down in demand for diesel components are Stuttgart-Feuerbach, Homburg/Saar and Bursa in Turkey.

Bosch’s chief executive Franz Fehrenbach, has already said that he does not expect Bosch to meet its target of 5% turnover growth this year. He said weak demand in Europe and the US is to blame.

In 2007 Bosch achieved a turnover of EUR46.3bn and a net profit of EUR2.8bn. Bosch employs a total of 271,300 employees, of which 112,300 are in Germany.