Dutch contract builder VDL informed its employees on Thursday that 2 000 more will lose their jobs at Nedcar in Born (the Netherlands), leaving 450 of 2 500 today as ‘intellectual capital’ to preserve the car factory for future clients.
Although Nedcar announced earlier that it signed a declaration of intent to build cars again in Born from 2026 on, no names are given of potential candidates. That new contract would provide jobs for 3 000 people at maximum.
Further job losses were expected, but the unions are talking about a ‘pitch-black day’ as the news struck harder than expected. The 2 000 people losing their jobs, among which many Belgian cross-border workers, come on top of the thousand interim workers and 500 permanent staff that have already left.
The 2 000 production workers will leave in March 2024 when the contract with BMW to build the Mini and the X1 ends. For them, there will be no extra jobs in VDL’s new Mobility Innovation Center.
Battery assembly for BMW
VDL Nedcar struck a deal with… BMW to assemble in that Center 125 000 battery packs between 2024 and 2035. VDL CEO Willem van der Leegte saw this as ‘a flying start’ for its new branch where ‘sustainable mobility solutions’ are developed. Here, research is done into autonomous vehicles for German Schaeffler, among others.
VDL says it will keep more jobs after March 1st, 2024, than is strictly necessary to maintain the car factory itself for future clients. It wants to ensure enough technical profiles remain to make a jump-start when needed. However, the unions are skeptical that a ‘new client’ would be in sight.
Meanwhile, there is a social plan for the employees who lose their jobs and help in finding a replacement job. If all production targets are met for BMW by the end of the contract, every employee will get a €7 500 bonus before leaving.