Under the threat of an economic slowdown, Volkswagen AG anticipates its strong growth to continue, according to the head of the automaker’s works council. Bernd Osterloh, representing labor on the company’s supervisory board, told the Hamburg business journalists' club late Wednesday that there were no signs that demand for cars is slackening this year.
He added that the company is “very robust” and has order books that will keep its plants working at high capacity for months. He further stated that the company is “doing well at the moment,” and disclosed that it could grow quicker than expected.
Moreover, Osterloh shared that even when the company is integrating truck maker MAN and sports vehicle manufacturer Porsche into its operations, the expected strong growth is still manageable, according to Autonews.
In July, Volkswagen has set a fresh sales record with deliveries up 17 percent, generally due to the growth in key markets Eastern Europe, North America and China. From the period between January and July, deliveries were up 12.5 percent compared with the same period last year.
Osterloh added that reduction in the workforce would not be a part of the agenda, even if the debt crisis begins an economic cooling in North America and Europe that cannot be offset by strong growth in Asia. He stated that they are able to respond to a decline in volumes in the double-digit percentages without adversely affecting employees.
Moreover, he said that VW’s plants in China, the company’s largest market, were operating beyond 100 percent of capacity.
The company intends to provide permanent contracts to 2,200 out of 9,000 temporary workers this 2011, he disclosed. VW’s main factory in Wolfsburg employs almost half the company's total number of temporary workers.