GERMANY: 2,500 protest against Karmann job cuts

By just-auto.com editorial team | 26 November 2007

Around 2,500 demonstrated in the town of Rheine yesterday, against planned job cuts at Karmann.

In October Karmann announced that it would cut 1,800 jobs, or around a quarter of its workforce, at its plants in Rheine and Osnabrueck because of a decline in contracts for outsourced vehicle assembly. The vehicle assembly division at Rheine is due to be shut down completely in the autumn of 2008, with the loss of 900 jobs, out of a total of 1,050.

Part of the reason for the decline is Audi's decision to cease outsourcing assembly of the A4 convertible. In addition, Karmann will lose contracts to assemble the Chrysler Crossfire in 2008 and the Mercedes CLK in 2009. A further 800 jobs are at risk in vehicle assembly if no new orders come in.

Vehicle manufacturers' production systems have become a lot more flexible and it is much easier for them to build niche vehicles in-house.

Politicians called on the German automotive industry to work with Karmann to avoid the loss of such skilled jobs.