Lower Saxony tries to dispel concerns about massive job cuts at VW
Lower Saxony’s Prime Minister Stephan Weil tries to dispel concerns about massive job cuts at Volkswagen. In an interview with the “Welt”, the SPD politician referred to a corresponding denial by the car manufacturer and added: “Such a course would not be possible with the state of Lower Saxony.” The state is a major shareholder in the group and has considerable say in the matter.
Volkswagen boss Herbert Diess, who sees the company in increasing competition with the electric car pioneer Tesla, had triggered sharp protests by the works council with statements about possible job cuts. According to insiders, Diess warned the supervisory board of the scenario of cutting up to 30,000 jobs in Germany at the end of September. A VW spokesman then said: “A reduction of 30,000 jobs is not an issue. There are no plans for this.”
This has repeatedly driven the Volkswagen employees to make rapid changes so that the car manufacturer can survive in the competition. On Saturday it became known that Diess had invited Tesla boss Musk to speak at a management meeting. Musk spoke on Thursday via video at a VW conference in Alpbach, Austria. Diess confirmed the appearance on Twitter on Saturday and announced a return visit to the Tesla plant near Berlin. “We will visit you in Grünheide soon,” said the Volkswagen boss.
The “Handelsblatt” reported from participants that Musk had expressed the expectation at the conference that Volkswagen would master the change in the industry. To Diess’ question why Tesla is so much faster than the automaker, Musk replied: “It’s the management style. I’m primarily an engineer and, besides the car, I’m fascinated by supply chains, logistics and production processes.”