Friday, January 13, 2012
Despite the company's recent growth, renewable energy industry woes hit Vestas this week, and the wind turbine maker plans 2,335 layoffs.
Vestas Wind Systems will cut about a tenth of its worldwide work force, slashing costs by $190 million before year's end. Layoffs will include 182 in the United States and Canada, including an undetermined number in Portland, where Vestas is a subsidized star in the city's green galaxy. Managers said another 1,600 Colorado factory jobs could be axed later this year if a federal tax credit for renewable energy is not extended.
Like SolarWorld, the German company with 1,000 workers in Hillsboro, Vestas is caught between low-cost competition from China and declining European subsidies for alternative energy. Europe's financial crisis compounds pressure, curbing power demand and raising the cost of credit.
The extent of the cuts appeared to catch Vestas' Portland office by surprise. On Tuesday, Vestas-American Wind Technology Inc., which employs nearly 400 in Portland, had issued an update reporting a strong 2011 sales year and describing plans to hire 150 for U.S. and Canadian sales and service.
Read more at OregonLive.com.