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Austria’s Car industry is Slowly Regaining Strength



February 26, 2010

The future looks brighter again

These past years of recession and economic difficulty have facilitated unprecedented re-thinking, re-structuring and re-invention throughout the car industry. Austria is no exception, things are looking better but there are still huge hurdles to jump. Here are some examples for a better 2010:

At the Viennese Autoshow (January 14-17, 2010) showed more than 300 vehicles from 31 brands. Several Austrian companies exhibited conventional cars as well as concept cars. Everybody agreed that this was the right time for manufacturers to show their brands and put their stakes in the ground to show off their new innovative technologies. The numbers spoke for themselves: from a survey done at the show, more than 50 % of the visitors were visiting to purchase a new car. Recession, what recession?!

Austria’s General Motors future looks also brighter. In 2009, every other Opel made contained a gearbox produced in Austria. Ever third car was equipped with an engine “made in Austria”. GM Europe announced it would invest 1 billion Euro in 2011 in new innovative and energy efficient engine- and powertrain technologies. This is part of a total investment of 11 billion Euro throughout 2014. General Motors Powertrain in Asperns stopped their reduced working hours for their employees since they started the production of a new turbo-engine in January. In addition they hired more than 100 contract workers since December 2009 to fulfill production requirements.

BMW in Steyr, Austria not only kept their promise not to shorten work hours for their employees, but made it through 2009 without any government help. BMW is counting on a new fuel engine to turn around the misfortunes of 2009. In addition, the Steyr location added 150 workers to its 2,600 employees.