Porsche Cuts Down Employees’ Working Hours

January 22, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. productivity (n.) 
[proh-duhk-tiv-i-tee, prod-uhk]– ability to make or produce products
Example: Hiring skilled workers increased the company’s productivity.

2. potential (adj.) [puh-ten-shuhl]– possible or likely
Example: The company will hire the most skilled person among the potential employees.

3. win-win situation (n. phrase) [win-win] [sich-oo-ey-shuhn]– a situation that benefits both concerned persons or groups
Example: Both the employers and employees agreed to the contract because it was a win-win situation.

4. sum up (v. phrase) [suhm-uhp]– to add up or give a total
Example The employee’s total work hours summed up to 100 hours last month.

5. manufacturer (n.) [man-yuh-fak-cher-er]– a person or a company that makes or produces something
Example: Fiat, Citroen and BMW are famous car manufacturers.

Read the text below.

To increase productivity, Porsche of Volkswagen AG (VOW) will cut off the employees’ working hours starting mid-2013.

Instead of 35 hours, all 3,300 workers in Zuffenhausen district of Stuttgart, Germany will only work for 34 hours a week. In addition, research and development engineers in Weissach, Germany would only work 40 hours weekly, said Porsche’s Personnel Chief.

However, the company will still produce the same number of vehicles despite the lesser number of working hours. In fact, Porsche plans to sell 200,000 cars annually by 2018, which is a 71% increase from 2011.

The company will also use the shorter working hours to attract more skilled potential workers.

According to Porsche’s CEO, this move is a win-win situation because both the employees and the company will benefit. The agreement, which will be valid until 2016, will also allow Porsche to be flexible and prepared for any economic changes that might happen in the future.

Porsche, whose profit for 9 months summed up to 389 million euros, was acquired by Europe’s biggest car manufacturer VW last year. VW, which plans to make more cars in 2013, paid 4.5 billion euros for the 50.1% remaining stock of Porsche.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you agree that a company can be productive even with short working hours? Why or why not?
·         What motivates you to improve your work performance?

Discussion B

·         How important is flexibility in a company’s growth?
·         Aside from flexibility, what other factors do you think contribute to a company’s growth?


January 22, 2013