Tough times ahead for the Bratislava plant of Volkswagen
The Bratislava Volkswagen plant has invested €2bn since 2012, and increased its workforce from 8,400 to 14,000. To improve efficiency, but also in response to softer sales in Western Europe and China, it will move SUV production from four to three shifts from March, ceasing weekend production that has been in place since 2010. Small city vehicles will be made in a single shift instead of two shifts. It won’t axe jobs, but won’t replace workers who leave, won’t prolong fixed-period contracts, will cut the number of agency workers, will stop using workers from the Audi plant in Hungary, and will send some of its workers to other VW plants in neighboring countries. By 2025, it aims to improve its efficiency by 30% when compared with 2018. It might stop producing the small vehicles altogether, as these face low demand and it will be costly to meet new emission standards. VW has no plans to move the production of electric cars to Bratislava instead.