GERMANY: Production cuts spread

By just-auto.com editorial team | 7 October 2008

Like Opel, Ford and Daimler are also cutting output in Germany.

Ford is reducing volume at its Saarlouis plant in Germany with a local news agency reporting that around 204 hourly workers would be affected. Ford's largest German plant - in Cologne - is unaffected.

Saarlouis employs 6,500 people building the Focus, C-Max and new Kuga small SUV.

Ford's European president and chief executive John Fleming said earlier this month he expects his unit to remain profitable in the second half of 2008, despite economic storm clouds. But he also warned the business climate would become increasingly difficult in coming months.

A Daimler spokesperson told local media the company aims to keep inventories as low as possible so plants in Germany and the US could be halted. The Christmas shutdown at the automaker's largest car plant, Sindelfingen, will begin earlier than usual this year with the lines stopping on 17 December. The company has not yet fixed a restart date.

Opel culls 40,000 units