Volkswagen cutting jobs at major German factory as sales of EVs plummet

  • Some 269 temporary workers will be let go by Volkswagen
  • Future of further 3,000 workers is in doubt
  • Job cuts are at VW’s Zwickau plant which builds electric ID models and others
  • Falling EV sales in Germany is the reason for the move

Time 12:13 pm, September 15, 2023

Volkswagen is letting over 200 workers go at its main electric car factory in Germany due to falling EV sales.

The German carmaker is cutting 269 temporary workers at its Zwickau plant, which builds the ID.3 electric hatchback and ID.4 and ID.5 electric SUVs, as well as the Cupra Born and Audi Q4 e-tron.

According to Bloomberg, Volkswagen won’t renew these workers’ 12-month contracts when they expire and will adjust shifts accordingly.

‘Volkswagen continues to be 100 percent convinced of the path to electromobility … however, in light of the current market conditions we can not extend 269 contracts which will run out shortly after a 12-month duration,’ said a Volkswagen spokesperson quoted by Automotive News Europe.

A further 2,000 temporary staff could lose their jobs too, but no decision has been made yet.

Bloomberg referenced plummeting sales as the reason for the lay-offs, due in part to electric car incentives for EVs recently being cut.

The German car giant is having a rough ride selling electric cars in its home market, due to buyers shifting away from EVs as they battle higher energy and borrowing costs.

Corporate orders for VW’s ID-branded models have also fallen sharply.

In recent years, Volkswagen has hired more than 3,000 workers, mostly temporary, and invested €1.2bn (£1bn) in the Zwichau plant to meet expected high demand for EVs.

The wider Volkswagen Group has already confirmed it is looking to China to build some electric cars, following the lead already set by BMW and Tesla.

The forthcoming Cupra Tavascan SUV will be built in Anhui in eastern China.

The news of the job cuts comes as the EU launches a probe into Chinese EV subsidies to prevent cheap imports flooding the European market.

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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