Ingoldstadt, Germany – Audi has announced it will reduce work hours over six days in February at its plants in Ingoldstadt and Neckarsulm, Germany, due to decreased demand. The arrangement affects about 25,000 workers.

“The overall demand in some major markets has dropped so drastically, especially in the last few weeks, that we’ve been forced to act,” said Dr. Werner Widuckel, of Audi’s human resources. “This is our way of reacting to the downward trend in demand on worldwide car markets. By reducing work hours, we’re securing the jobs of employees and can be confident of having good prospects for the future.”

The company said that despite the slowdown, preparations are still continuing “at full speed” for the production start of six new models due to launch this year. Audi also said that the future of its permanent staff is secure, and that the company has signed an agreement that rules out layoffs due to operational conditions until 2011.

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