Audi has made arrangements to slash 9,500 of its 61,000 workers in Germany over the next five years to streamline its business ahead of a period where the global economy is expected to grow below trend, Automotive New reported.
Though Audi's investor relations has spun the massive job cuts as a way to transition the company into a sustainable path of investing in the future of electric cars, the actual reason for the cuts is because the global automobile industry is collapsing.
Audi sales have plunged, and revenues and operating profits are down in the first nine months of 2019. The upcoming restructuring is in preparation for the company to weather the economic storm.
Audi will save at least $6.6 billion from the cuts, which will allow it to channel money into building out its electric car segment and create several thousand green jobs.
Audi said in a statement on Tuesday that the cuts would "take place along the demographic curve - in particular through employee turnover and a new, attractive early retirement program."
"The company must become lean and fit for the future, which means that some job profiles will no longer be needed and new ones will be created."
Audi employs 90,000 people around the world, 60,000 of those are in Germany.
It's not just Audi that is experiencing a slowdown in sales. Other major German auto manufacturers are feeling the pain as the slowdown is expected to continue through 2020.
Audi survived the 2008 financial crisis by slashing its workforce well ahead of the crisis. This time isn't different.
Audi CEO Bram Schot said, "In times of upheaval, we are making Audi more agile and more efficient. This will increase productivity and sustainably strengthen the competitiveness of our German plants."
World stocks at the moment are ignoring the implosion of the global automobile industry...