Karmann pleased about bmw order for plant in poland

Automotive supplier and body builder karmann to manufacture roof for bmw’s one series convertible. This is a significant contribution to securing the company’s future, said karmann management spokesman peter harbig on today’s ndr 1 niedersachsen radio program.

The soft top is to be manufactured at the karmann plant in zary, poland, which is located about 50 kilometers east of cottbus. The decision to cut jobs at the german sites in rheine and osnabruck will therefore be made despite the bmw order, as agreed with the social partners. Karmann is currently building audi a4 convertibles in rheine, while its colleagues in osnabruck are rolling out mercedes clks. Production of both models will be discontinued in the coming months; follow-up orders of a similar size that have been hoped for for months are not in sight.

By 2013, karmann plans to reduce its entire production of convertible roofs from the current 170.000 to 300.000, a company spokesman explained to heise autos. The bmw order is proof of "karmann’s growth story in the roof systems sector". The karmann spokesman also emphasized that the company’s equipment manufacturing and technical development divisions are "almost working to capacity," while at the same time admitting that complete vehicle manufacturing remains the group’s problem child.