Dramatic market changes call for solutions in seal production

Weinheim, October 8, 2015. About a year ago, the Board of Management of Freudenberg Sealing Technologies informed employees about the difficult business and competition situation in Weinheim at an employee meeting. Thanks to constructive negotiations with employee representatives, it has been possible to develop joint solutions. The results were announced today. At the units which are affected, Simmerring production for industrial business, encoder production and the Transmission and Driveline Competence Center, 85 jobs are to be saved. The remaining 160 jobs are to be phased out in a socially compatible way over the next few months. To the greatest possible extent, compulsory redundancies for business reasons are to be avoided.

The example of encoders highlights the tremendous challenges currently faced by FST in the areas mentioned. Over the past four years, the world market prices of encoders for engine and transmission applications have fallen by 40 percent. Major projects are running down and FST has not been nominated for follow-up projects for cost reasons and as a result of high prices. In some cases, the manufacturing costs at Weinheim are already higher than the prices customers are prepared to pay and the quotations made by international competitors. Freudenberg had to react to the situation. Together with employee representatives, the "Weinheim Dialog" process was launched at the end of last year with a view to developing specific solutions.

The measures which have been agreed include the relocation of encoder production to the plant in Bursa, Turkey, and further relocations to the facilities in Kecskemet, Hungary, and Ceperka, Czech Republic.

In addition, employer and employee representatives have concluded an agreement to strengthen competitiveness. The agreement includes provisions on greater flexibility, for example in the areas of working times, overtime and peak demand.

Über die Freudenberg Gruppe

Freudenberg ist ein globales Technologieunternehmen, das seine Kunden und die Gesellschaft durch wegweisende Innovationen nachhaltig stärkt. Gemeinsam mit Partnern, Kunden und der Wissenschaft entwickelt die Freudenberg Gruppe technisch führende Produkte, exzellente Lösungen und Services für mehr als 30 Marktsegmente und für Tausende von Anwendungen: Dichtungen, schwingungstechnische Komponenten, Vliesstoffe, Filter, Spezialchemie, medizintechnische sowie mechatronische Produkte, IT-Dienstleistungen und modernste Reinigungsprodukte.

Innovationskraft, starke Kundenorientierung sowie Diversity und Teamgeist sind die Eckpfeiler der Unternehmensgruppe. Der Exzellenzanspruch, Verlässlichkeit und pro-aktives, verantwortungsvolles Handeln gehören zu den gelebten Grundwerten in der mehr als 165-jährigen Unternehmensgeschichte.

Im Jahr 2014 beschäftigte die Freudenberg Gruppe mehr als 40.000 Mitarbeiter in rund 60 Ländern weltweit und erwirtschaftete einen Umsatz von mehr als 7 Milliarden Euro (inklusive quotaler Konsolidierung der 50:50 Joint Ventures). Weitere Informationen unter www.freudenberg.com.