F1B’s Executive Editor in Europe, Mark Hallam, has indeed verified that Toyota F1 based in Cologne Germany has officially parted ways with 500 employees. According to news agency DPA, the team has officially released 500 employees with 150 staying with Toyota to work on other racing initiatives.
With a partial salary and benefits for the next year, some of the most technically skilled people in the industry are now walking the streets seeking employment.
There is one upside to Germany’s employment woes as it pertains to F1; BMW F1 was purchased and several jobs were saved. The glut of technical people in the F1 market will also be a ripe season for new teams looking for highly skilled employees to supplement their small staffs. Here is the DPA article:
Cologne, Germany (dpa) – The racing development arm of Japanese
carmaker Toyota has cut 500 jobs at its headquarters in Cologne,
following the firm’s withdrawal from Formula 1 competition, it
Marketing director Andy Fuchs told the German Press Agency dpa
that the remaining 150 employees at the world-class racing test-and-
development facility would continue with the firm’s other projects.
Toyota announced in November that due to globally difficult
circumstances for the car industry – and amid turbulence in the
racing world – it would not be competing in the 2010 world
The withdrawal “hit us like a bomb” said Fuchs.
The Cologne centre had been responsible for the complete
development of Toyota’s F1 racing cars.
Fuchs said the remaining staff would continue to develop
sport upgrade kits for Toyota and Lexus models, as well as racing
cars for other competitive series.
The affected employees, mostly highly-trained engineers from some
30 countries, are to be given redundancy payments and re-training
benefits, and will receive partial salaries for up to one year.
For their sake, let us hope that employment is quick to find and that they are taken care of in the mean time by a sympathetic Toyota. From what I know of Toyota, their family spirit and commitment to their employees is a hallmark and this is surely a painful situation for them.