Vestas cuts 800 North American jobs as wind turbines orders slow

Due to the U.S. market slowdown, largely the result of uncertainty surrounding the federal Production Tax Credit extension at the end of 2012, Vestas has reduced its workforce in the U.S and Canada by about 20 per cent in 2012.

Although Vestas has added many jobs in service and construction to meet customer and market demands in a busy year, overall the company has reduced its workforce in the U.S. and Canada by about 20 per cent — from more than 3,400 employees to about 2,600 in 2012. This includes workforce reductions in manufacturing, sales, service, supply chain, and research and development.

Vestas has experienced its busiest year ever in the U.S. and Canada by supplying wind turbines to more than 20 new wind power projects. Additionally, Vestas U.S factories are filling export orders for customers in Canada, Mexico, and Central and South America,” said Martha Wyrsch, President of Vestas-American Wind Technology, Inc. “However, the U.S. wind industry has slowed, largely due to the uncertainty surrounding the federal Production Tax Credit extension at the end of 2012.

The uncertainty with the Production Tax Credit has led to a reduction in turbine orders for 2013 in the U.S market. This week, Vestas reduced its manufacturing workforce at two Colorado blade factories.

Overall in 2012, Vestas’ manufacturing workforce at its four Colorado factories has decreased from more than 1,700 to about 1,200 people. This decrease includes employee attrition, relocations and reductions. About 18 per cent of Vestas’ entire Colorado manufacturing workforce was affected this week at its two blade factories in the state.

It’s important to stress that Vestas continues to manufacture wind turbine components for the US market and for other markets”, Wyrsch said.

Vestas has adopted a flexible business strategy in the U.S. and Canada during a period of changing market dynamics in the wind industry. Vestas will continue to scale its workforce up or down depending on business needs and market demands.
As stated at the quarterly announcement on August 22, 2012, Vestas is adapting its organisation to be profitable with an expected level of shipments of 5 GW in 2013. Among other initiatives, this means a reduction of employees to a level of about 19,000 people by the end of 2012. The workforce reduction announced in Colorado this week is part of the previously announced manufacturing footprint adjustments Vestas is making during the second half of 2012.