CORRECTED-Auto supplier Valmet to cut 230 German jobs, move assembly to Poland

Tue Jun 3, 2014 10:58am EDT

(Corrects to remove Valmet Corp from list of owners in paragraph 2)

BERLIN, June 3 (Reuters) - Finnish auto supplier Valmet Automotive will cut about 230 jobs in Germany and move production of roof systems to low-wage Poland.

Valmet, owned by Finnish engineering group Metso, private equity fund Pontos Group and the Finnish state, will keep about 100 white-collar jobs at its German plant in Osnabrueck, which currently employs 330 staff, the company said late on Monday.

Assembly of roof systems for carmakers including Daimler , BMW and Volkswagen's Bentley division will in future be based in Zary, western Poland, where Valmet employs 350 workers.

"Utilisation of two facilities is currently not feasible because of the decline of the market for convertible roof systems," Martina Lupberger, senior vice president at Valmet's German division said.

The latest job cuts follow the removal of 70 other positions at the German site in recent months through voluntary redundancies and natural wastage.

Valmet is not the only manufacturer seeking to benefit from low Polish production costs. VW will spend nearly 3.4 billion zlotys ($1.12 billion) on a new Polish factory to build delivery vans from 2016, ending assembly in Germany.

Labour costs in Poland's manufacturing sector amounted to an hourly 6.65 euros per worker in 2012, about a sixth of the 36.98 euros in Germany, according to the Cologne-based IW economic institute. ($1 = 3.0420 Polish Zlotys) (Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by David Goodman)

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