Daimler Considering Cut in Work Week

CEO said they have never experienced an economic crisis this serious.

Daimler said on Nov. 14 that it was mulling shorter working hours to cope with weaker demand due to the global financial crisis, a spokesman for the works council said. The company's management informed the works council that its Mercedes-Benz luxury car unit had an excess of 5,800 staff for next year and is considering reducing working hours to 30 hours from 35 hours per week.

Daimler chief executive Dieter Zetsche had told the daily Bild that the company was looking at its options. "Depending on how the situation evolves, an obligatory reduction in working hours could be the next step," Zetsche said. "We have never experienced a crisis this serious," he added. "We must constantly adapt our production to the drop in demand. There is no point in producing cars if they are going to sit on the lot."

Zetsche said he could "give no indication" regarding possible job cuts.

The group has had to lower its 2009 targets twice in light of a sharp drop in car sales.

Like many German auto makers, Daimler has also extended its annual end of year production pause to five weeks.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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