New Delhi: German engineering conglomerate Siemens will invest $346 million in India over three years, most of it to make wind turbines, but said plans to add 8,000 jobs in the country even as it cuts them elsewhere is not a move to shift production to low-cost countries.
The company on Tuesday said it would grow its workforce in the fast-growing market for renewable energy to 25,000 by 2012, less than a week after it announced 2,000 job reductions in its home country on falling demand.
“We’re taking advantage of the Indian growth opportunity, we’re adding specifically tailored products,” chief executive Peter Loescher told reporters here.
Asked whether Europe’s biggest engineering group was considering shifting production and jobs to countries such as India, Loescher said: “Not at all. It doesn’t mean that. It means exactly the opposite.”
Siemens CEO Peter Loescher addresses a press briefing in New Delhi on Tuesday. Gurinder Osan / AP
Loescher, in New Delhi as part of a delegation with visiting German President Horst Kohler, did not answer questions about proposed fresh job cuts, saying he would talk only about Siemens’s India plans.”
Siemens cut 17,000 jobs worldwide in 2009 as part of a programme to cut costs by $1.7 billion from 2007 levels.
Last month, it said more reductions were needed as demand was falling, and a return to the pre-crisis production levels of 2007-08 would take time.
The most recent announcement on cuts came two days after Siemens said it would review its full-year outlook after forecast-beating first-quarter profit growth.
Siemens, which has operated in India for more than 140 years and built the first telegraph line between Kolkata and London in 1867, will begin work on a wind turbine plant in two to three weeks, and begin shipments from 2012.
The plant will have an initial annual capacity of 200 megawatts (MW) which will later be ramped up to 500 MW, Siemens India head Armin Bruck said.
Siemens, the global market leader in offshore wind turbines, has said it aims to be one of the top three suppliers to the overall wind power market by 2012 and that it expects especially robust growth in the Asia-Pacific region.
Siemens is the sixth-largest supplier overall to the wind power market On Tuesday, the firm said it aims to increase India revenue 10 times to €1 billion ($1.4 billion) by 2020, and Loescher said much of this would come through organic growth.