Daimler, Audi Hire Thousands of Workers on `Sustainable' Luxury-Car Demand
Daimler AG, Audi AG and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, the three largest luxury-car makers, will hire thousands of workers this year as they develop electric vehicles and expand factories to meet growing U.S. and Chinese demand.
Daimler will recruit more than 10,000 people in 2011 to staff a new Mercedes-Benz car factory in Hungary and expand truck capacity in North America, the Stuttgart, Germany-based company said today. Audi will add 2,000 employees and BMW will hire 1,300, spokesmen for the carmakers said.
Mercedes, BMW and Audi are targeting record deliveries this year on recovering U.S. spending and growing Chinese wealth. Daimler, also the world’s largest truckmaker, forecasts 2011 heavy truck sales will increase as much as 25 percent in North America and 20 percent in Europe.
“It’s a signal of confidence in the sustainability of the recovery,” said Daniel Schwarz, an analyst with Commerzbank in Frankfurt. “You don’t hire people for two-to-three months.”
Volkswagen AG’s Audi is adding the employees to develop electric vehicles and roll out new models, spokesman Juergen De Graeve said by phone from Ingolstadt, Germany. BMW plans to hire the people to support development, purchasing and sales, said Mathias Schmidt, a BMW spokesman in Munich.
Daimler, which employs 260,100 people, will start producing two new compact Mercedes models in 2012 at a plant in Kecskemet in central Hungary and plans to hire 1,500 people for the 800 million-euro ($1.1 billion) factory this year.
The company, the world’s largest maker of heavy-duty vehicles, is also opening a truck factory near Chennai, India, and will expand production at plants in Mexico that make Freightliner models. Daimler will hire 1,300 people for U.S. truck factories. About 400 people are being hired in China to support sales growth after deliveries more than doubled last year, spokeswoman Dominique Albrecht said.
“We are growing in many regions of the world and want to compete for the best personnel everywhere,” Wilfried Porth, Daimler’s human resources chief, said in the statement.
Audi, which plans to add six models in the next five years, will offer 200 temporary workers at German facilities in Neckarsulm and Ingolstadt permanent contracts, the company said.
“Never in our history have so many new models rolled out in such a short time frame,” Thomas Sigi, Audi’s personnel chief, said in a statement.
The VW unit, which aims to overtake BMW as the world’s top high-end carmaker by 2015, is hiring about 1,200 engineers and computer specialists as well, chiefly to support electric-car development, De Graeve said. The company, which employs 46,700 people, also typically takes on 700 trainees a year, he said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Reiter in Berlin at email@example.com
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