MUNICH, Germany -- Automakers that are aggressively moving production to central and eastern Europe should expect a decline in wage costs, a study says.
A study by forecasters CSM Worldwide shows that European average hourly wage costs for Honda Motor Co., Toyota Motor Corp. and Peugeot will drop between 2003 and 2011 as they move their production east.
The region's share of Toyota's European production will jump to 45.2 percent by 2011, compared with 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 now has no central or eastern European factories.
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 automakers Hyundai and Kia already have all of their production in central and eastern Europe.
Says Mark Fulthorpe, director of European vehicle forecasts for CSM in London: "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."