In a bid to re-strategise its business plans for growth in 2017, German bearing maker Schaeffler has announced that it looks to shave off 500 jobs at its industrial division in Germany and other European countries.
The company has cited the move was due to slow delivery chains and overly centralised sales operations and mentioned that it will be looking to strengthen the regional sales organisation and significantly increase the customer orientation of the division’s operations by giving more operational responsibilities to the regional organisations which includes Asia/Pacific region and Australia.
Speaking exclusively to Manufacturers’ Monthly, Schaeffler said that these additional measures will reduce the Industrial division workforce by up to 500 mainly in Germany and will not affect the company’s Asia/Pacific locations including Australia. Currently, Schaeffler has a total of 83,774 employees worldwide.
Stefan Spindler, CEO of Schaeffler’s industrial unit mentioned that the rationale for these decisions was strategic in order to “align” their industrial business along customer and market needs and “set the course for sustainable sales growth and increased profitability.”
According to Reuters, the company looks to set up a new European distribution centre and cede more responsibilities to regional sales branches to be able to respond to customers’ needs more quickly.
The company has reported that operating earnings at the industrial unit, which produces ball bearings for cars, machine tools and planes, fell 1.7 per cent to €171 million (A$244 million) in the first six months of the year.
Overall sales from the company were up 7.5 per cent to €1.7 billion but down by 0.8 per cent with existing currency tailwinds. The automotive business had posted a 3.2 per cent gain in first-half operating profit to €647 million.