D’Ieteren Auto to cut 123 jobs
After announcing its ambition to reduce its workforce by 211 last June, the Volkswagen Group’s Belgian importer, D’Ieteren Auto, has dropped the number of redundancies to 123. Thanks to internal transfers and anticipated retirements. The group has begun to reflect on its sector’s future and believes that the auto industry will be transformed over the next few years.
Last June, D’Ieteren Auto announced that it was accelerating its transformation started years ago due to the impact of the coronavirus crisis and it’s expected long-term effects. Back then, the ‘Renault Law’ was activated and 211 jobs were excepted to be cut.
Internal transfers and anticipated retirements
On Friday, the Belgian importer of the Volkswagen Group announced that the number of redundancies had been lowered to 123 jobs. That was possible thanks to 21 internal transfers and the opening of anticipated retirements benefits for employees aged 59 or more.
“We are still talking about 123 dismissals. Around 60 colleagues should be able to benefit from early retirements. We are bitter, while D’Ieteren is sleeping on a war treasure of just under one and a half billion euro”, declares Jean-Paul Sellekaerts, an FGTB union representative.
D’Ieteren Auto has accelerated its on-going metamorphosis, which includes 182 million euros invested by 2025. The company plans to reduce new car sales while the second-hand market and soft mobility sectors should grow.
The pandemic and the mobility changes it forced have only accelerated this tendency. Whereas D’Ieteren estimated the Belgian automotive market to be reduced to 490 000 cars per year, the pandemic has already caused a drop below the 440 000 bar.
“Many things are being justified by the pandemic, but it seems to me that it’s a bit early to draw conclusions about the prospects for the next three or four years and to part with more than a hundred people in this way”, castigates the unionists, also questioning the ‘catastrophic’ acquisitions of Moleskine and the launch of Poppy.