ZF Friedrichshafen is cutting up to 15,000 jobs

No longer just short-time work: Due to the Corona crisis, the first large companies are now permanently shedding jobs.

For example, ZF produces transmission brakes.

BAt the automotive supplier ZF Friedrichshafen, up to 15,000 jobs are to be cut in the next five years due to the slump in sales in the Corona crisis. “From today’s perspective, we will have to adjust our capacities worldwide by 2025 and cut 12,000 to 15,000 jobs, about half of them in Germany,” says a letter from CEO Wolf-Henning Scheider to the 148,000 employees. The company, which belongs to two foundations, was threatened with “high financial losses” this year, “as a result of the freeze on customer demand,” wrote Scheider of the workforce.

The executive board is apparently concerned that the banks and other creditors will terminate the loans that ZF Friedrichshafen took out for the billion-dollar acquisitions of TRW and Wabco in recent years. Such takeover loans are usually linked to the fulfillment of certain key figures – mostly operating profit.

That threatens “our financial independence”, wrote the CEO. “If we miss certain metrics, external lenders could demand influence over our business decisions. We want to prevent that and continue to go the ZF path independently. “A ZF spokesman did not want to comment on the letter:” We do not comment on internal communication with our teams. “

The board had already informed the trade union IG Metall and the employee representatives about the situation and the planned measures, the letter said. The details would be worked out in the next few weeks. “Unfortunately, all of this is necessary to secure ZF in the long term and to adapt it to the new economic reality.”

The agreements reached to cope with the Corona crisis, such as short-time work and wage waivers, were far from being sufficient. “Because the crisis will last longer and even in 2022 we will be noticeably below our plan in terms of sales.”