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© alexey utemov dreamstime.com Electronics Production | February 11, 2015

Voith forges ahead with restructuring - laying off 1'600

The Voith Group will consolidate its administrative functions and work on additional capacity adjustments at Voith Paper, which will lead to layoffs.
The two projects now being carried out will involve a workforce reduction of up to 1'600 jobs worldwide by the end of 2016, 870 of which will be in Germany. Going forward, the company will refocus on its traditional technology and engineering to prepare for the future challenges and opportunities of Industry 4.0, and will further restructure its portfolio accordingly. In line with this strategy, a sale process for Voith Industrial Services Group Division is to be initiated, the company writes in a statement.

“Our boards today approved a number of far-reaching steps, some of them painful, but necessary. We will now seek out dialog with employee representatives with the goal of making these moves in a fair and responsible manner, and in a way that honors the culture and values of our company,” explains Hubert Lienhard, President and CEO of the Corporate Board of Management. “Currently, market conditions in mechanical engineering are changing drastically. Voith is ready to face these challenges and will now resolutely take on the next phase of the Group’s restructuring.”

The company aims to streamline its administrative processes by taking steps that include establishing four Shared Service Centers (SSC) in which standardisable administrative services will be consolidated across Group Divisions.

Unavoidable capacity adjustments at Voith Paper

Voith has also reported on the significantly reduced market demand for new machines and major rebuilds in the paper industry and the company’s very strained business situation in this segment as a result. In light of this, Voith Paper’s management aims to further adjust and consolidate worldwide capacity, consequently reducing global headcount by a total of around 1'000, including 140 jobs already mentioned in the worldwide planned restructuring of administrative activities. In Germany and Austria around 800 jobs are to be reduced.

The planned measures include discontinuing paper activities at Voith’s St. Pölten site (eliminating some 150 positions) and closing the sites in Krefeld and Neuwied (decreasing headcount by around 200), as well as consolidating those activities in Heidenheim. At the Heidenheim site, this streamlining would affect around 300 jobs. At the Ravensburg site around 150 jobs are to be cut. There, among others the remaining manufacturing plant in Ravensburg will be closed.

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