VDL Nedcar switches to one-shift operations; number of employees to be reduced as announced
VDL Nedcar, VDL Groep's car factory in Born, is planning to switch to one-shift operations from 1 November 2023 as a result of work reductions due to volume decline. The formal request for consent to switch to a day shift and, inevitably to this decision, the request for advice on the reduction of employees were submitted to the Works Council today, 1 June.
With the move to one shift, there will be work for 2,100 employees at VDL Nedcar. Currently, VDL Nedcar has a total of 3,950 employees. The car manufacturer in Born plans to reduce around 1,000 employees and over 800 temporary workers by 1 November 2023. This concerns both production employees as well as employees in supporting departments. A further reduction of employees around 1 March 2024, when the contract period with BMW ends, cannot be ruled out. However, the goal remains to gain new, substantial vehicle projects, in conjunction with the planned new operations in Born.
John van Soerland, Managing Director of VDL Nedcar: 'After BMW's termination of the 2030 contract, we have fought extremely hard for the right connection through car production. We have not succeeded so far. Ultimately - due to turbulent conditions in the car market - time has proved too short to keep the entire population employed. We regret this and to our employees who will lose their jobs, we are sorry".
The aim is to provide clarity as soon as possible to employees who will be forced to say goodbye by 1 November 2023. They obviously deserve a good safety net. Our aim remains to voluntarily move employees from job to job as much as possible.
The current social plan, signed in 2021, is valid until April 2024. This social plan was agreed with trade unions after it was known that the contract with BMW had been terminated. This safety net is almost double the legal compensation. Furthermore, we have added to this social plan the Finish with Pride bonus of up to 7,500 euros per employee from 1 June 2023.
In 2020, VDL Nedcar was faced with sweeping decisions by BMW that a recently agreed contract was cancelled and no follow-up contracts would be awarded. This decision by BMW was prompted by lower production volumes than previously anticipated. Declining car sales due to the corona pandemic, geopolitical developments and disruptive developments in the automotive market were at the root of this.
Despite this disappointment, VDL Nedcar has remained a deliverable car factory that has continued to win global quality awards ever since. These achievements have contributed to a limited extension of building the current models until 1 March 2024. Furthermore, partly due to its flexibility, reliability and innovativeness, a prestigious project has been awarded, the production of the world's first all-electric convertible, the MINI Cabrio Electric.
Despite the inevitable organisational downsizing, VDL Nedcar is making every effort to secure employment for as many employees as possible. VDL Nedcar is working on the transition from an independent car manufacturer to a broad partner in sustainable mobility. In outline, the strategy consists of three pillars: Vehicle Contract Manufacturing, the Mobility Innovation Centre and the VDL growth allocation. Respectively, independent car production for third parties, innovations in the field of mobility (e.g. the assembly of battery packs, the production of autonomous driving vehicles, sustainable coating of brake discs and preparing cars for delivery) and facilitating the growth strategy of VDL sister companies that are also active in mobility (e.g. the concentration of activities in the field of special vehicles).
About VDL Nedcar
VDL Nedcar in Born is an independent car manufacturer that produces cars on behalf of third parties. It is the only major car factory in the Netherlands that has been part of industrial family business VDL Groep in Eindhoven since the end of 2012. It currently employs around 4,000 people. The factory has a production capacity of up to 200,000 cars per year, based on two-shift operations. VDL Nedcar uses a highly automated production process (1,400 industrial robots). Since its inception in 1967, over 5.5 million cars (DAF, Volvo, Smart, Mitsubishi, MINI, BMW) rolled off the production line in Born. VDL Nedcar currently produces the MINI Cabrio, the MINI Cabrio Electric and the MINI Countryman; we also produce the PHEV variant of the MINI Countryman.