Up to 30,000 jobs in danger ?: VW boss Diess shocks with plans to cut jobs

Volkswagen boss Diess wants to make the car company fit for e-mobility. In order to compete with top dog Tesla, he is apparently also planning massive job cuts. The Wolfsburg supervisory board protests.

According to a media report, the CEO of Volkswagen, Herbert Diess, is considering cutting up to 30,000 jobs. As the “Handelsblatt” reports, Diess expressed his concern for the future of the Wolfsburg-based car company at a supervisory board meeting on September 24th.

In competition with the competition, the costs would not be right, Diess is said to have said according to those present. Then he described how he had already experienced a site crash – namely during his time as a BMW manager in Great Britain. Because the management did not act and the unions blocked innovations, the location in Birmingham disappeared from the automobile map.

Diess had promised that he would do everything possible to prevent this. He has already had various scenarios calculated. A conversion of Volkswagen could call every fourth position in the core brand VW into question. A reduction of up to 30,000 jobs is possible.

Supervisory board ideas go too far

The mood at the meeting had shifted after Diess had spoken. Apparently the members of the supervisory board were caught off guard by the plans, and they are said to have reacted accordingly. Everyone on the supervisory board knows about the trade needs, said one of those present. However, the considerations put forward would go too far. The supervisory board forbade Diess to circulate further scenarios with massive job cuts, writes the “Handelsblatt”.

Diess, CEO of VW since 2018, wants to make the company a pioneer in electromobility. US manufacturer Tesla with its new factory in Grünheide near Berlin serves as a model. This should succeed with the new generation of Trinity cars, which will roll off the assembly line at VW from 2026 and will be easier to produce than the Golf, for example. Some VW locations such as Zwickau and Brussels have already been converted to the new electric era.

The main plant in Wolfsburg has so far been excluded from the modernization process. According to the “Handelsblatt”, this is exactly what Diess considers to be a mistake. Accordingly, he had initially promoted making Wolfsburg the first location for the new era. The headquarters would have become a role model for change. But Diess has a powerful opponent in Wolfsburg. Works council chief Bernd Osterloh has so far blocked the upheaval with his influence. Around 25,000 people are employed in production in Wolfsburg. Worldwide, more than 600,000 people work for Volkswagen in over 100 factories.