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Volkswagen labor chief sees no need for more cost cuts

Volkswagen’s labor chief Bernd Osterloh has been telling analysts and investors the automaker has no need for deeper cost cuts in Germany.

Existing cost decreasing measures, agreed in 2016, will be enough to help the company to deal with the coronavirus crisis, Osterloh said, according to an analyst note from MainFirst.

“Osterloh stated that the Future Pact program that was initiated in 2016 is still driving cost down. That gives VW a lead over European peers. Incremental cost cuts are not needed at the moment,” the MainFirst note stated.

A spokesman for Osterloh’s offices verified the comments.

A spokesman for Volkswagen later said Osterloh’s comments referred to deeper structural cost programmes, such as mass layoffs, instead of the ongoing efficiency improvements.

If demand declines further, VW can cut costs by decreasing the working hours of its workforce, Osterloh informed analysts.

Osterloh also said unions wholly support CEO Herbert Diess and that the Volkswagen ID.3 electric car is a strong product that is fully on track.

Diess said in a LinkedIn post on Thursday about Osterloh that he “once again made clear that the workers council stands completely behind the strategy of Volkswagen”.

About the planned full takeover of truck maker Navistar, Osterloh said this remained strategically the right step, but that rising VW’s stake in the business was not a priority right now.

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