Volkswagen AG’s Audi luxury division said orders for vehicles fell ‘sharply’ in the past three months because of the global recession.
“January is absolutely awful,” Audi Chief Executive Officer Rupert Stadler said today at an auto-industry conference in Bochum, Germany. The division is “planning carefully ahead and examining programs week by week.”
Volkswagen, Europe’s biggest carmaker, and Audi are among German manufacturers putting workers on shorter hours in coming months to reduce production as their main markets shrink. Germany’s automakers association is forecasting a 6.5 percent drop in deliveries this year. The U.S. vehicle sales fell 18 percent last year to 13.2 million cars and light trucks.
Audi is shortening workdays between Feb. 20 and 27 at its two main factories, affecting 25,000 of the unit’s 57,000 employees. The Ingolstadt-based division said Jan. 23 that it’s sticking ‘with full vigor’ to plans to introduce six models this year and extend the product lineup to 40 by 2015.