Auto supplier: Schaeffler closes plant in Brandenburg

Auto supplier
Schaeffler closes plant in Brandenburg

The automotive supplier Schaeffler closes its plant in Luckenwalde, Brandenburg. Photo: Paul Zinken / dpa

© dpa-infocom GmbH

The Franconian auto supplier Schaeffler will close its plant in Brandenburg. The aim is to offer jobs to as many of the around 330 employees as possible at other locations.

The Franconian auto supplier Schaeffler closes its plant in Luckenwalde, Brandenburg.

In 15-month negotiations with a potential investor and the workforce representatives, no feasible way to continue the location had been found, said Schaeffler CEO Klaus Rosenfeld on Friday. So far, the Luckenwalde site has only manufactured parts for combustion vehicles in the automotive industry. Schaeffler is increasingly focusing its automotive division on electric drives. According to the company, around 330 people are employed at the plant in Luckenwalde.

Employment at other locations

For the Luckenwalde location, talks about a reconciliation of interests should now begin. “We will do it fairly,” said Rosenfeld of the German press agency. “We will offer as many employees as possible a job in other locations within the group,” he said.

The works council in Luckenwalde reacted with incomprehension to the decision to close. The plant is profitable. “We are still wondering why after three decades one is parting with a profitable, inexpensive and innovative company,” said works council chairman Frank Hildebrandt.

“The Schaeffler board of directors sees the products in Luckenwalde for the combustion engine as being phased out in the long term,” said the deputy chairman of the general works council, Ulrich Schoepplein. With this, Schaeffler is withdrawing further from the new federal states after years of secure profits: In 2019 the Kaltennordheim plant (Thuringia) was sold and has since been closed, now Luckenwalde will also be closed. “We are watching with concern that new products in the process of transformation are predominantly located in Eastern Europe,” he said.

Reaction of the Minister of Economics of Brandenburg

Brandenburg’s Economics Minister Jörg Steinbach (SPD) was disappointed and regretted the closure very much. “In particular, it does not seem to have succeeded in generating sufficient trust in a possible investor in the workforce,” he said in Potsdam. “We expect the company and the employee representatives to conduct the upcoming talks on the reconciliation of interests and the social plan in a fair manner.” The need for skilled workers gives reason to hope that the majority of employees will find good employment on the job market.

For Schaeffler, the decision to close the Luckenwalde location is the conclusion of a consolidation program that included the closure, sale, or the complete or partial relocation of production at twelve locations in Germany. In total, 4400 jobs should be cut.

At the same time, however, capacity had been built up in other places, said Rosenfeld – for example in the production of components for electric cars in Bühl (Baden-Württemberg) or in the construction of a technology center at the headquarters in Herzogenaurach.


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