HEIDELBERG, Germany – It was in October of 2019 that Haldex announced it was streamlining its production in Europe, a decision that would see the move of production from Heidelberg in Germany to Szentlörincskáta in Hungary.
Haldex stated that the Group’s European region had not managed to increase the profitability to a level that met expectations. The company also pointed to the expected economic downturn and the cost level in Germany as factors that led to the decision which would ultimately lead to the factory in being shut down. In total, 100 people will be affected by the shutdown.
Out of these, 17 employees will remain at Haldex since they possess regional and global positions located in Germany.
Fast-forward to January 2020 and the Staff Works council of Haldex GmbH Heidelberg publishes an open letter to Helene Svahn, President & CEO Haldex and all members of the management group, in which they state that the decision to close the Heidelberg plant would result in unbearable social effects for the employees and that it is also the completely wrong decision for the Haldex group.
The letter states that on January 15, 2020 an expert report, commissioned by the Staff Works council, was handed over to the representatives of Haldex. According to the Staff Works council the report provides detailed evidence of the non-existent cost-effectiveness of the proposed closure, combined with an alternative concept.
“Only a day later, however, responsible board members rejected this in a written notice. That’s why we get in contact with you all again as the leaders of the Haldex group with this open letter,” the letter reads.
As stated earlier, Haldex wrote in a press release in October that the group’s European region “had not managed to increase profitability to a level that meets the expectations”, this is something that the Staff Works council contests in the letter.
“In the past years at the plant in Heidelberg we got positive results and margins, with just these 100 employees. With the implementation of this decision to close the positive Heidelberg plant, the overall situation will become worse for Haldex Europe. The decision against Heidelberg will have a negative influence to the other inner European plants.”
The Staff Works council also claims in the letter, citing statements from colleagues in Hungary, that the facility in Szentlörincskáta is too small to handle the move of all the lines from Heidelberg and still continue production in an orderly manner.