Hit by demand slump, Sweden’s SKF planning to cut jobs

November 13th, 2008 - 6:12 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 13 (IANS) Sweden’s leading bearing maker SKF Thursday said it was considering cutting jobs globally as part of the company’s restructuring activities to cope with the “changing demand situation”. “The job cuts are part of our restructuring activities which take place annually, in the face of less demand we are looking at downsizing specially in our automotive component business,” SKF president and chief executive Tom Johnstone told reporters.

The company last month closed down its automotive seals plant at its Elgin facility in Illinois, which saw 170 people losing their jobs.

“The changing demand situation makes us slightly focused, we are taking further steps and there will be further cuts in the Europe,” he said.

SKF has postponed construction of its new plant in Haridwar in Uttarakhand, which will primarily make bearings used in the auto industry, because of slow demand for auto components.

“We were supposed to begin production by the end of this year in Haridwar, but we foresaw the slowdown in the auto sector and postponed the construction works,” he said.

SKF has acquired a 10 acres in Haridwar and another plot in Ahmedabad for setting up the production units as part of its Rs.4.5-billion (about $100 million) investment plan.

The Ahmedabad factory will be operational by the middle of next year.

Johnstone added that the company had recently entered into a five-and-a-half-year tie-up with Suzlon Energy to supply mainshaft and slewing bearings for the latter’s wind energy equipment.

The 300-million euros ($374-million) contract will come into effect from October 2009 after the Ahmedabad facility comes up.

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