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SMT & Inspection | January 19, 2009

Mikron to lay off 15% of workforce; Germany, Switzerland & USA affected

The Mikron Group is preparing for a difficult year in 2009. It expects a significantly lower overall volume for the financial year just started. In particular, the automotive segment is not expected to pick up in the near future. This appraisal is leading the company to take precautions to protect its cost-efficiency.
Mikron will respond to the current market situation by making capacity adjustments at virtually all sites over the next few weeks. In addition to the introduction of shorttime working at certain sites, a headcount reduction of up to 15% of the 1,100 jobs will be unavoidable.

This will primarily affect the Machining Technology division’s production sites at Agno (Switzerland) and Rottweil (Germany) and its distribution site in the USA. Supplier companies to the automotive industry, the majority in Germany, account for about half of the division’s sales. It is planned to introduce short-time working for about one third of employees. The redundancies at the main production site in Agno (Switzerland) can be partly achieved by systematically reducing the number of fixed-term employment contracts and by retirements and natural attrition.

At present the Assembly Technology division is less affected by the reduction in capacity. The main production site in Boudry (Switzerland) is initially responding to the expected downturn in volume by reducing the number of fixed-term contracts. By contrast, the US production site is significantly reducing capacity by making redundancies.

The Machining Technology division had already responded to the noticeable drop in demand from the automotive industry as early as November by making a few redundancies at its Rottweil site (Germany). At the same time short-time working was introduced in one area of tool production at Agno.

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