Amidst economic turmoil, the less-than-stellar news continues to develop in Europe. In the context of automobile industry, Belgium appears to be the latest region to feel the effects of the crisis, as Volvo has announced it will reduce production in its Ghent facility in 2013.

The Volvo assembly plant currently produces the S60, XC60, C30 and V40 models. It employs roughly 5,200 people. This news comes on the heels of Ford announcing the shuttering of its own Belgian facility, located in Genk.

According to Lars Wrebo, Senior Vice President Manufacturing at Volvo, "We have had a very positive trend during a number of years, with 2011 as a record year." He continued, "Now we see customer demand declining and we need to rebalance our production output. In today's market situation, flexibility is essential in the automotive industry."

In order to address the declining demand, production volume will be reduced from the current rate of 59 cars per hour to 54 cars. The result of this move on the workforce is the non-renewal of approximately 300 agency worker contracts. Check out the press release below to see all the details on this announcement.
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Volvo Car Corporation reduces production volume in Ghent

Volvo Car Corporation will lower its production volume in the factory in Ghent, Belgium as of 2013.

This will be done through reducing the line speed from 59 cars per hour to 54. As a consequence of this, approximately 300 agency workers will not get their contracts renewed when these expire by the end of this year.

"We have had a very positive trend during a number of years, with 2011 as a record year. Now we see customer demand declining and we need to rebalance our production output. In today´s market situation, flexibility is essential in the automotive industry," says Lars Wrebo, Senior Vice President Manufacturing at Volvo Car Corporation.

In Ghent the S60, XC60, C30 and V40 models are being produced. In November, the serial production of the all-new V40 Cross Country will start.

In total Volvo Car Corporation has around 5,200 employees in Ghent.


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  • 18 Comments
      Basil Exposition
      • 2 Years Ago
      Cue comments on hot autoworker...
      bretaa
      • 2 Years Ago
      As I wrote on the comment board of a Saab site (I'm a satisfied but sad Saab Turbo-X wagon owner), I believe that Volvo shares all the same flaws that Saab had. In a nutshell, contemporary safety standards, the rise of the utility SUV and CUV, widespread adoption of FWD and AWD, and the necessity to be on the bleeding edge engineering wise to even compete today served to completely negate and neuter the historical brand promises of both Saab and Volvo. Both failed to reinvent their brand images in response, at least in ways that were different enough from their competition, and both suffered muddled marketing and corporate misadventures. I fear Volvo won’t end well either, especially as they seem to be yet another maker mimicking the BMW model of success and that pie can only be so big. I’m very interested to see what Ford does in the US with Lincoln since it seems clear they are bucking the trend and NOT going the pseudo German or sport sedan routes but are seemingly aiming to out Lexus the old, pre BMW aspiring Lexus.
        NightFlight
        • 2 Years Ago
        @bretaa
        I don't agree with you at all. Saab didn't have a single vehicle that buyers actually wanted. All of their models were incredibly outdated, and were also-rans when introduced. The first gen 9-5 was a 13 year old model before it was replaced by the 2nd gen, which was a disappointing vehicle and a botched product launch. If you can't get buyers in the showroom, it doesn't make a difference. Volvo has the XC60, the S60, and the new V40 and all are selling/going to sell incredibly well. That's what drives showroom traffic and increases interest in your brand. Saab had none of that.
        Alex740
        • 2 Years Ago
        @bretaa
        I am a Saab owner as well I don't agree with you at all. Volvo has done a far better job of changing with the times and not diluting their brand image than Saab did. The XC90 was a huge sales success and the XC60 and S60 are going well too. Saab had a tiny line up of old models that stank of GM or were just flat out cheap rebadge jobs. Volvo on the other hand was profitable until several years ago and while their line up is not as new as it should be, the new line up of vehicles are extremely competitive. Volvo is undeniably a little lost right now in the gray area of not quite economy and not quite luxury (like Acura) but once they figure out their place and refresh the rest of the line up things will probably be better. If nothing else Volvo's rep in the US at least, is and has been far better than Saab's, Saab never recovered from their poor reliability reputation, Volvo just has get past being seen as Mom safety mobile which is far better place to start your image shift.
        realrambo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @bretaa
        I don't know where you did your research , it look more like the tabloid at the cheap supermarket than any serious publication .
      g.ga4
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's the babyboomers's fault....no wait...it's Reagan's fault....No it's Bush's fault.....it's everybody's fault but the liberals and democrats
      realrambo
      • 2 Years Ago
      Volvo is a Chinese Co.....
      The Emperor
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'd do her
      Duck
      • 2 Years Ago
      I didn't know you could cut workers. That would definitely make me work harder if my boss walked around with a box cutter threatening to cut us.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Phlegming Liberal
      • 2 Years Ago
      So when GM (SAIC) or Ford (Changan) decides to cut workers, would the headline be "latest Chinese carmaker..." or "latest American carmaker..."? Because if you go by ownership, it really should say "latest Chinese carmaker in Europe..."
      dsnidermls
      • 2 Years Ago
      Thank God I work for Honda
      Peter
      • 2 Years Ago
      The Volvo plant in Belgium is located in Gent (Ghent), Genk is where Ford is located. Both locations are about 200km apart.
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