Berlin. Horst Neumann, Volkswagen's new personnel chief, is planning to introduce Audi-style profit sharing for the VW brand's 100,000 employees in western Germany.
"That's the way we want to go," Neumann told Automobilwoche during the presentation of VW's Concept A prototype for a Golf-based SUV in Berlin.
Neumann, who served as Audi's personnel chief for three years, has the task of drastically reducing VW's labor costs.
Employees at VW factories in western Germany earn significantly more than those at Audi, VW's sister brand, despite the fact that VW is barely operating in the black.
"A company that isn't earning money can't afford to pay 20 percent more than the industry pay scale," Neumann said.
Audi pays out its incentives with a two-tier system. This year, its 45,000 employees are getting a total of 21.7 million euros, or $25.7 million at current exchange rates, in profit sharing and 72.6 million euros, or $86.1 million, as performance bonuses. Together, they amount to an average of more than 2,000 euros, or about $2,370, per employee.
Neumann also wants to undertake working-hours reforms.
"On the working-hours issue, I see much greater latitude for differentiation," he said.
VW's top management is calling for shorter schedules for shift workers than for office staff.
Until now, only 28.8 hours per week are being worked due to the four-day week at VW. The shorter schedule is applied to both development engineers and assembly workers.
Neumann said VW can no longer afford that model. Even Audi personnel chief Werner Widuckel is striving for more flexible hours.
You may e-mail Guido Reinking at [email protected]