Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Volkswagen and BMW cuts jobs

German automakers BMW AG and Volkswagen AG said Tuesday that they would put thousands of German employees on reduced working hours as they slow production in the deepening economic downturn.

Volkswagen said it would put about two-thirds of its employees in Germany — some 60,000 workers — on shorter hours for five days late in the last week of February.

The company said some areas, such as component production and research and development, would be exempted.

BMW said a total of approximately 26,000 employees would work shorter times on some days in February and March, with workers at four plants affected. The company employs some 75,000 people in Germany.

German manufacturers' exports have been declining sharply, and demand at home also has been falling as the economy — Europe's biggest — sinks into recession.

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