Volkswagen committed to European plants: CEO

VIENNA Sat Apr 27, 2013 4:43am EDT

Martin Winterkorn, CEO of German carmaker Volkswagen addresses the annual news conference in Wolfsburg, March 14, 2013. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

Martin Winterkorn, CEO of German carmaker Volkswagen addresses the annual news conference in Wolfsburg, March 14, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Fabian Bimmer

VIENNA (Reuters) - German carmaker Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) will keep its plants in Europe despite weak markets in the region that will require flexible manufacturing and could entail cuts to temporary staff, Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn said.

Winterkorn had told shareholders in Europe's top carmaker on Thursday to brace for a tough year given faltering European consumer demand that is punishing the sector.

In an interview with Austrian broadcaster ORF aired late on Friday, Winterkorn said VW would not follow the example of other automakers and scale back production in Europe.

"No, we will not withdraw any capacity from Europe but rather preserve capacity in Europe," he said. But he left the door open to trimming temporary staff that the company built up in boom years.

"The regular staff is certainly something we will hold on to. We will have to think about temporary staff," he said.

Volkswagen said last month it planned to almost double production capacity in China over the next five years to grab a bigger slice of fast-growing emerging markets and offset declining demand at home.

Its goal is to snatch the global sales crown from Japan's Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) in 2018.

(Reporting by Michael Shields)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

California state worker Albert Jagow (L) goes over his retirement options with Calpers Retirement Program Specialist JeanAnn Kirkpatrick at the Calpers regional office in Sacramento, California October 21, 2009. Calpers, the largest U.S. public pension fund, manages retirement benefits for more than 1.6 million people, with assets comparable in value to the entire GDP of Israel. The Calpers investment portfolio had a historic drop in value, going from a peak of $250 billion in the fall of 2007 to $167 billion in March 2009, a loss of about a third during that period. It is now around $200 billion. REUTERS/Max Whittaker   (UNITED STATES) - RTXPWOZ

How to get out of debt

Financial adviser Eric Brotman offers strategies for cutting debt from student loans and elder care -- and how to avoid money woes in the first place.  Video