2008 Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion ConceptEnlarge Photo
Joining the growing list of automakers forced to scale back in response to a dismal market, Volkswagen AG, BMW AG, and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. are taking measures to reduce the cost of their operations.
Volkswagen is responding by trimming hours for five days at the close of February. Roughly 2/3s of VW's 92,000 German factory employees will feel the crunch for the period ending on February 27.
2009 BMW 5-Series 535xiEnlarge Photo
BMW is taking similar measures, cutting production volume and shortening time worked in certain German plants. Hours will be reduced for 26,000 German employees, and the number of temporary workers will be reduced.
2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSEnlarge Photo
Mitsubishi is taking rather more drastic measures, stopping production altogether at its largest Japanese plant, Mizushima, for three weeks in February. This in response to a glut of vehicles that aren't selling in the weak market. The plant, situated in western Japan, produces mostly passenger cars. Mitsubishi, Japan's fourth-largest automaker, is forecasting a dizzying 42 percent decline in net profit for its financial year that ends this March.
[source: Detroit News]