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SWEDEN: Extra Volvo shift already triggering supplier boost: FKG

By Simon Warburton | 17 October 2014

"1,300 [Volvo] jobs created is fanstastic" - FKG MD Fredrik Sidahl in Gothenburg

"1,300 [Volvo] jobs created is fanstastic" - FKG MD Fredrik Sidahl in Gothenburg

Scandinavian automotive supplier association, FKG, says Volvo's decision to add a third shift at its Torslanda plant has already triggered the need for extra work for some of his members.

Volvo announced plans to move to three shifts at yesterday's (16 October) FKG annual supplier Forum in Gothenburg, but it appears the positive addition of 1,300 jobs at the automaker will now also trickle down to component producers.

"Volvo says it will introduce a third shift - 1,300 jobs created is fantastic [and] on the other hand it is also to push the suppliers' factories," FKG managing director, Fredrik Sidahl, told just-auto on the sidelines of the conference at Chalmers University.

"There is one factory increasing on another shift and we have to increase on the supplier side. It is great for employment because we really need to reinforce on the staff side.

"There is a saying in Swedish - 'keep your ears on the track' - it is a very positive thing."

The supplier association chief also noted a trend towards consolidation in Swedish industry, which on the one hand he described as "an opportunity," but which on the other could lead to "a sort of dampening" effect.

Sidahl outlined there were around 100 Swedish suppliers out of 1,000 who were struggling and that access to finance - a lament heard frequently in the UK during its prolonged recession - was challenging as banks were finding it difficult to lend.

The FKG head equally noted Europe still has underling issues as it emerges from one of the longest downturns in recent memory.

"France - oh France - is in a huge problem and gives rise for concern," he said. "Spain also has a problem because Spain is one big country of logo manufacturing. Decisions are made in Germany."

Prince Carl Philip - third in line to the Swedish throne and a racing driver - also attended the FKG Forum and noted the "co-operation between suppliers is where things are going to improve."