Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee was a guest at Meleghy Automotive in Gera as part of his 2020 summer tour. An important stop to get an idea of the effects and situation in Thuringian automotive supplier companies and their economic situation during Corona.

“So far we have come through the crisis in good shape. In addition to the call-offs from the Asian region and the start of production of VW’s ID.3, the possibility of using the short-time work allowance helped us,” CFO Michael Scharff explains the economic situation. “We are optimistic that we will be able to go back to 100 percent in Gera in the next few weeks. It is precisely thanks to the instrument of short-time work compensation that we have been able to keep our core workforce in full”. The deputy chairman of the works council, Mr. Jens Manske, was also involved in the discussion and reported positively on the situation. “The fear at the beginning was that things would get bad. We had to go on short time, but in the meantime we are all back to normal on the job floor.”

During Minister Tiefensee’s last visit, the location of a new Meleghy Automotive plant was under discussion. Mr Tiefensee was interested in why it was Saxony and not Thuringia that had made the decision. “In addition to the limited space in Gera, the Bernsbach plant needed a new location to strengthen its competitiveness,” explained Michael Scharff. Dr. Thomas Werle, CTO/COO, added: “We are a family business and the most important thing for us was to create a perspective for our core workforce and generate new jobs. This was the decisive point for the choice of the Reinsdorf location”.

In the exchange discussion between politics and business, it was quickly established that in the context of the Corona crisis, both sides agreed that there must be quicker testing possibilities and clearer guidelines. In a guest contribution, Managing Director Jörg Schiebel of STÖBICH presented a rapid test procedure for corona tests. Reliable test results are available within one minute. Minister Tiefensee was impressed by the practicable procedure and established contacts with scientists in Jena. The procedure is close to series production readiness. Meleghy Automotive is interested in supporting practicable test procedures and offers itself as a test company to protect its employees.