Volkswagen to shed up to 7,000 jobs through automation

Volkswagen to shed up to 7,000 jobs through automation

March 13th, 2019 by Associated Press in Business Around the Region

FILE -- In this Saturday, March 9, 2019 file photo robots work on a VW Passat car at a plant of the car manufacturer Volkswagen in Emden, Germany. (Joerg Sarbach/dpa via AP, file)

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

German carmaker Volkswagen AG says it expects to cut its workforce at its core brand by 2023 as a result of increasing automation of "routine tasks."

The Wolfsburg-based company said Wednesday that the Volkswagen brand can cut the posts by not recruiting replacements for employees who retire, and so it can carry out "restructuring along the demographic curve."

Volkswagen estimates that 5,000 to 7,000 jobs of employees who leave the company worldwide will not be refilled, said a company spokeswoman.

FILE - In this Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018, file photo a logo of the car manufacturer Volkswagen is pictured on top of a company building in Wolfsburg, Germany. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, file)

FILE - In this Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018,...

Photo by Michael Sohn

This means the target would be possible purely through early retirement measures, the spokeswoman said. Volkswagen will create about 2,000 new jobs in its technical development area, which relates to electronics architecture and software, she said.

VW said that, at the same time, it will create some 2,000 new jobs in technical development. The company noted in a statement that "with regard to all measures, Volkswagen has given its workforce a job security guarantee until at least 2025."

In January, Volkswagen announced plans for an $800 million expansion of its Chattanooga vehicle assembly plant to begin making electric vehicles by 2023. VW said it expects to add 1,000 more workers in Chattanooga to add the new electric models.

The moves come as Volkswagen unveils a program aimed at improving earnings by 2023. VW CEO Herbert Diess said Tuesday the auto maker is planning to roll out 70 new electric models across its array of brands that include VW, Porsche, Audi, Skoda, Seat, Bentley, Bugatti and Lamberghini.

The first of Volkswagen's electric vehcles will begin rolling off the production line at the end of this year, Diess said. Prosche's first electric vehicle known as the Taycan is already taking pre-orders.

Across its brands, Volkswagen sold 10.9 million vehicles last year around the globe.