World Daimler does not want to close the Berlin plant despite austerity measures
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Regardless of its tough austerity course, the car manufacturer Daimler is currently ruling out an end feared by the union side for its Berlin engine and drive plant.
"From today's perspective, it is not the plan to close the Berlin plant," said board member Markus Schäfer in a conference call to journalists on Friday. According to employee information, in Berlin, where the oldest manufacturing plant of the Daimler group is located, around 1000 of 2500 jobs will be cut in the next few years, according to Daimler's wishes. IG Metall had even raised the question of whether the capital plant might be completely on the verge of collapse.
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Daimler is also planning to cut numerous jobs at other locations - for example at the Group's headquarters in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim. According to the works council, the group wants to cut around 4,000 of 19,000 jobs by 2025. Across all locations, the reduction of 10,000 to 15,000 of the around 300,000 jobs worldwide was recently rumored. The media had even reported up to 30,000 jobs. The carmaker did not comment on the figures, but they are striving for socially acceptable solutions as possible, it said.
The Corona crisis is causing the numbers at Daimler to fall deeply in the red and is forcing the carmaker to tighten its already planned austerity course. In the second quarter, the group made a loss of around two billion euros. Schäfer said it was now about the competitiveness and profitability of the whole group. "The ultimate criterion is the health of this company," he said of the austerity.
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The corona crisis is accelerating the transformation from combustion to electric motors throughout the industry. "We cannot ignore the reality that is forming outside in the market," said Schäfer. For many existing engines, production will be shut down or even said goodbye - for example, for the six-cylinder diesel engine, which will only be manufactured in Berlin until 2021. In return, they will invest more in battery cell research, for example. There is talk of a cell production facility in Untertürkheim.
The Daimler general works council accused the board of management on Friday of not wanting to invest in conventional drive systems. "And if at all, then in Poland or Romania." The company wanted to relocate components or procure them externally on the grounds that there was too little money to invest in conventional areas. Employees in these areas would have to fear for their jobs. The works council made its position clear: "The conventional products finance our way into the future." They refuse to “radically cut off this umbilical cord due to the current cost pressure without employment alternatives for us”.
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