MUNICH - Automakers that are moving production to central and eastern Europe most aggressively will see a decline in wage costs in the medium term.
A study by forecasters CSM Worldwide shows that European average hourly wage costs for Honda, Toyota and Peugeot will drop between 2003 and 2011 as they move production east.
The region's share of Toyota's European production will jump to 45.2 percent by 2011 from 15.2 percent in 2003.
At Honda, that share will rise to 28.8 percent from 5.6 percent, while Peugeot will have 20.1 percent of its European production there.
It has no central or eastern European factories at the moment.
CSM's research underscores how Asian brands such as Toyota, Honda and Suzuki will benefit on the wage front from their rapid expansion eastward.
Korean companies Hyundai and Kia already have all of their production in central and eastern Europe.
"The moves by Asian-based OEMs to shift production to lower wage countries poses a significant challenge for those badges such as Ford and Opel that currently do not have aggressive plans to move additional production east," said Mark Fulthorpe, director, European vehicle forecasts, for CSM in London.