Thyssenkrupp considers production cuts as coronavirus spreads

FILE PHOTO: Thyssenkrupp's logo is seen outside the elevator test tower in Rottweil, Germany, January 21, 2020. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle/File Photo

DUESSELDORF, Germany (Reuters) - Thyssenkrupp TKAG.DE, a major supplier to the automotive industry, on Wednesday said it was considering shortened working hours as carmarkers reduce or suspend production due to the coronavirus crisis.

The car industry is Thyssenkrupp’s single biggest customer group, buying numerous components and steel parts from the steel-to-submarines conglomerate.

“We want to keep employed as many employees as possible, even if we are partially running out of work,” Thyssenkrupp board member Oliver Burkhard said in a statement.

“To do so we will be looking at all options, including short-time working allowances,” Burkhard, Thyssenkrupp’s chief human resources officer, said.

Earlier this week, several carmakers, including Volkswagen VOWG_p.DE and Daimler DAIGn.DE, introduced far-reaching production cuts due to the spread of the coronavirus, raising the question of when their suppliers would follow suit.

Reporting by Tom Kaeckenhoff; Writing by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Riham Alkousaa and Jane Merriman