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BMW Seeks 2,600 New Workers on Electric-Car Growth

Dec. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, the world’s larger maker of luxury vehicles, is increasing hiring as the company expands its lineup to meet environmental regulators’ demand for cleaner-running cars.

The manufacturer plans to add 1,300 employees this year and at least 1,300 in 2011, Michael Rebstock, a spokesman at Munich-based BMW, said today by phone. The maker of BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce models aims to add expertise in electric vehicles, hybrid powertrains and cleaner combustion engines to develop models with lower carbon-dioxide emissions, he said.

BMW scaled back the workforce through buyouts and early retirement programs to 96,230 employees at the end of 2009 from 107,539 in 2007 after Chief Executive Officer Norbert Reithofer initiated a cost-cutting drive to boost profitability. The company is developing an electric city car and a hybrid-powered sports car for introduction in 2013.

The company took on about 1,000 new workers on average in 2008 and 2009, Rebstock said. In addition to research and development employees, BMW is recruiting purchasing and sales specialists, he said.

The automaker is seeking to increase sales this year by about 10 percent to more than 1.4 million deliveries, with further growth to 2 million deliveries by 2020.

Daimler’s Rastatt Plant

Other German automakers are also hiring. Daimler AG added 400 workers this year at its factory in Rastatt, Germany, where it builds Mercedes-Benz A- and B-Class compacts, said Nicole Kicherer, a spokeswoman at the Stuttgart-based manufacturer. Mercedes-Benz also intends to hire 2,500 more employees at a new small-car plant in Hungary.

Volkswagen AG, which owns the Audi luxury brand, may create 50,000 jobs globally by 2015, with about 10 percent of the positions in Germany, its second-biggest market after China, Personnel Chief Horst Neumann told Handelsblatt newspaper in an interview confirmed by Stefan Ohletz, a spokesman at the Wolfsburg-based carmaker.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Reiter in Berlin at creiter2@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net.

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