CZECH REPUBLIC: Auto industry could lose 10,000 jobs

By just-auto.com editorial team | 31 October 2008

A leading figure in the Czech car industry has suggested that the country's car manufacturers and suppliers could cut up to 10,000 jobs this year and in early 2009.

However, speaking to just-auto today, the director of the Automobile Industry Association (AIA), Antonin Sipek, said this was a "pessimistic estimate".

"We have not made a detailed survey of the companies in our industry," he said. "The last figures - verified as of mid 2008 (ie before start of the economic troubles) - showed a decrease of 2,500 to 3,000 employees (due to developments in the exchange rate with the euro)."

Sipek said that the first round of cuts were likely to come from agency (temporary) workers.

"None of the companies intend to make too rapid decisions regarding their regular qualified employees," he added. Sipek added he believed that any possible cut backs in employee numbers would mostly come from supplier companies.

He said that though some companies may limit production, others were increasing volumes, such as TPCA Czech. Others still were starting new production, including Hyundai NoŇ°ovice.

Sipek said that he still expected to see growth in the Czech auto industry over the coming year, though not as high as in recent years.