GERMANY: Robert Bosch reviews options to cut production

By just-auto.com editorial team | 28 October 2008

Supplier Robert Bosch has confirmed today (28 October) it halted production at its Reutlingen-Rommelsbach site this week as part of an on-going review of its production needs as the global economic crisis hits the auto industry.

A Bosch spokeswoman told just-auto today that 400 workers had been sent home although they would not suffer financially as the lost hours would be covered by overtime recently accumulated.

Bosch added that it could not say whether it would have to halt production at other sites.

"This is something that needs to be looked at as the situation moves. Changes are made at a weekly or even at a daily basis so it's very difficult to say," the spokesperson said.

She added that Bosch had a number of other alternatives to reduce costs and bring production in line with demand.

"In terms of the possibilities that we are looking at to manage the situation at our end there are certain options we have. We have a certain flexibility in the working hours especially where people have clocked up a lot of overtime. Another option that was looked into at some of the sites is temporary workers that are employed for the purpose of peak times. They have temporary contracts, and when those contracts are run out they are no longer renewed," the spokeswoman said.

She confirmed that temporary workers had already been let go at some plants.

She added that the company was exploring the possibility of a longer Christmas break "and then any potential further steps as they may become necessary which as you know at this moment in time is very difficult to say."

"It is very much a question of looking at every specific site and every specific product output and how we are affected and this is currently going on.  It is a very careful decision from place to place," the spokeswoman concluded.