Production and labor issues may derail VW’s push for top spot

Article by Andrew Christian, on September 30, 2014

It seems that Volkswagen’s target to becoming the largest carmaker in the world in a few years’ time is currently facing a hurdle inside its organization. Relations between management and its workers have become worse overtime, as well as the current production situation at the carmaker’s main site in Wolfsburg could be an indication.

Witnesses told Reuters that the carmaker’s supposedly automated e-Golf assembly line at the plant has been teeming with worker handing metal sheets to robots. VW saw the need for such improvisation after the e-Golf failed a simulated crash test in the United States. Planners have decided to make the electric car’s frame stiffer, there were just not spaces to install extra robots on the already crowded assembly line.

The carmaker’s core VW brand has seen its operating profit drop by a third in the first half of 2014 -- no thanks to lower sales, a weak dollar, and large spending on technology like its MQB modular platform.

The platform is a core part of VW’s goal of surpassing Toyota Motors Corp. as the No. 1 carmaker in the world as it allows the German carmaker to build a huge variety of car sizes and shapes on a single production line.

The MQB in effect hikes flexibility while reducing assembly costs. But the current problem at Wolfsburg means that MQB could lead to serious issues. While it is design to easily build different models on a single line, the platform has instead delays and forced overtime on some assembly lines, company sources and production staff told Reuters.

Likewise, Volkswagen cannot just implement any major moves at its plants or even restructure them – simply because labor unions have asserted their power inside the company. Labor leaders, as well as the state of Lower Saxony, control the majority of Volkswagen's supervisory board, a powerful body that appoints and dismisses members of the management.

Topics: vw

If you liked the article, share on:

Comments

Login or Create new account to add a comment!

Recommended

Bentley Motors has just released the specs of the new Bentayga Diesel. Obviously, we couldn’t wait to share it here since it’s the first ever diesel model to come out...
by - September 26, 2016
A big chunk of Volvo Cars’ legacy in developing the most durable and capable car is evident in its latest Cross Country collection. Suffice it to say, our planet has...
by - September 21, 2016
Just very recently, we were all delighted to finally see a Bugatti Chiron out in the streets casually hanging around Cannes in France. The said car was purchased by a...
by - September 9, 2016
Earlier this year, Aston Martin wowed the world with a stunning concept car – the Vanquish Zagato. The concept made its first appearance in May during the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa...
by - September 7, 2016
Lamborghini has always been known to be the home to exotic supercars. The Italian automaker’s production facilities have hosted uniquely designed and powerful show-stopping supercars. It all started with the...
by - September 5, 2016