VIENNA, April 27 German carmaker Volkswagen
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 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 in 2018.