Extended shutdown for BMW?
Swindon MINI staff braced for extended shutdown
BMW are set to follow Honda in announcing an extended shutdown of their Swindon factory, SwindonWeb understands.
Staff have already been told they must take three weeks of fixed holidays in 2009, the first in February; plus two in August.
The plant ceased production for 4 weeks over Christmas.
And now management have warned staff that a further reduction in output may be in the pipeline, as the decline in sales of new MINIs continues.
The Swindon factory produces 80% of the steel parts used in the production of all BMW MINIs.
"It's not a nice place to work at the moment," one worker told SwindonWeb, "but I don't blame the company."
"Everyone knows that things aren't good in the car industry and we're all just waiting for the news that the factory will be shutting down for longer than the 3 weeks announced.
"Some people have been offered work at Oxford but it's not for everyone. It depends on how long you've worked here.
"If it's more than 2 years, you should be OK. But for anyone shorter than that or on agency it's difficult."
Motor trade figures revealed that Mini sales in the UK fell by more than 32% in December compared to the same month in 2007.
The Swindon plant forms what is described as the 'Mini Triangle' alongside the Hams Hall engine plant and the main assembly line in Oxford.