Punch Powertrain cuts 188 jobs
Automotive supplier Punch Powertrain wants to cut 188 of the 1.100 jobs it has in its factory near Sint-Truiden (east of Belgium). The producer of automatic gearboxes suffers from the decline of the Chinese car market.
It was a turbulent week at Punch Powertrain, with some strikes and a lot of discussions and negotiations between unions and the management. At an extraordinary Works council, this morning was announced that 172 factory workers and 16 employees would get fired.
For two years, Punch Powertrain has been using the system of temporary unemployment for economic reasons. Also, there is no working anymore during the weekends. 300 out of the 500 workers are already included in one of those systems of temporary unemployment. The other 600 employees work mostly at Research & Development.
The Chinese owner, who bought the factory a few years ago from Belgian entrepreneur Guido Dumarey, has problems because the demand for the Chinese market has decreased significantly in the last years.
Signs of hope
Punch Powertrain has signed an important contract with French car manufacturing group PSA to deliver (mostly transmission) parts for electric and hybrid cars. Unfortunately, this agreement only starts to run in 2022.
Until then, the company will have to look for other activities or further license some personnel. Meanwhile, it’s important that the R&D section progresses so that new customers can be attracted. In this transition period, also the transmission side of car manufacturing undergoes big changes.