Harald Krueger, Member of the Board for Industrial Relations and Human Resources, BMW AG, was in India recently. He spoke to BT's Kushan Mitra on how the company dealt with the economic meltdown.
First, I have to say that demand has picked up this year. But we coped with the slowdown better than the competition because we have a very flexible working system. We have flexible hours for all our workers allowing us to add or subtract 300 hours in a year.
Overall sales were impacted last year, though there was still tremendous demand for our new small sports-utility vehicle, the X1. Thanks to our flexible production lines and partners on the work floor, we were able to meet the changing demand patterns. Earlier in the year, our partners worked less, and later in the year as demand picked up, they worked more.
This was achieved with no monetary loss to the workers.