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KTM puts the brakes on half its workforce

Upper Austrian motorcycle manufacturer KTM announced today (Mon) it would put 733 of its 1,482 employees into part-time work from May until August.

KTM said the measure would apply to all categories of employees, including white-collar employees as well as manual labourers.

The firm said the measure would effectively result in two fewer months of production this year.

The move comes after KTM’s announcement in late January it would lay off 150 workers in its leasing division and 150 core employees by April this year.

KTM chief Stefan Pierer then warned in advance the firm might have to resort to part-time work at that time.

Pierer added the company was planning to decrease production by 25 per cent but said he expected business to get slightly better next year.

And he claimed the motorcycle industry was in better shape to survive the recession than the car industry since more people would opt for motorcycles during a recession.

Meanwhile the company is to get a 30 million Euros capital increase from owner Cross Industries and its Indian partner Bajaj with the latter raising its interest in the firm to 30 per cent.

KTM is also planning mass production of an electric-powered, all-terrain endurance bike within two years.

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