As Nemak managing director Frank Lehmann announced, around 180 jobs will be cut in Wernigerode in the autumn of next year, which means that around a third of the Nemak workforce is at risk of losing their jobs. The trigger for the decision, which was also announced to the works council and workforce, was the restructuring and transformation in the automotive industry, which means around 30% less production in the medium term.
The trend towards e-mobility is causing a drop in orders
Cylinder heads and cylinder blocks for the automotive industry are manufactured in the aluminum foundry in Wernigerode, while Nemak supplies Volkswagen and Audi as well as Porsche and Daimler. Their economic situation and, as with the manufacturers of components for internal combustion engines, are currently heavily influenced by the social discussion about environmental impacts. In addition, there are regulatory requirements of the legislature, which result in the increasing electrification of drives.
Important new and follow-up orders have already been lost, and the number of new orders does not come close to earlier figures and this could lead to production having to be lost. This development is not entirely new, as early as 2019 some of the then 700 employees were working on short-time work, now Covid-19 has become even more severe.
Therefore, according to Lehmann, the management had to decide together with the shareholder to cut staff. The order volume for 2022 could still change, but with the planned downsizing, 180 jobs can be assumed at the moment, which will probably disappear in September / October next year.
Those in charge regret the steps, but state that they will face the challenges and actively approach and shape the change to new projects and new technologies.
The management hopes that Nemak Wernigerode will be able to participate in the production of parts for electric mobility in the future.