Vestas plans to cut 2,000 more jobs, may sell 20% stake
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Vestas said Wednesday the company will continue to shed jobs next year.
Vestas Wind Systems A/S put out an interim financial report Wednesday indicating ongoing financial uncertainty and announcing plans to cut an additional 2,000 jobs in 2013. The company is also considering divesting up to 20 percent of the company and outsourcing some manufacturing.
Vestas, based in Denmark with North American headquarters in Portland, has been in contraction mode for the last year and last week announced it would shutter three research and development facilities in the U.S. The head count at its Portland office has shrunk from about 400 people at the start of the year to about 300 employees.
Company officials told investors Wednesday that it would further reduce its head count next year, extending a hiring freeze and continuing layoffs.
"This is expected to bring down the number of employees to around 16,000 by the end of 2013 compared to 22,721 by the end of 2011 and an expected number of around 18,000 by the end of 2012 or early 2013," the company said in a statement.
Vestas has been struggling to return to profitability since posting its first loss since 2005 last year.
Bloomberg reports that the company is seeking an investor to help it weather falling wind turbine prices. Vestas was talks with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries — part of the Mitsubishi Group — but officers did not comment on that relationship Wednesday.
Vestas is hopeful that President Barack Obama's election will ensure that the Federal Production Tax Credit, which President Obama has said he supports, will see an 11th-hour extension before the end of the year. The credit's looming end-of-the-year expiration date has set of waves of layoffs and prompted a major slowdown across the wind energy industry.
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