Already during the boom year of 2023, the sales figures of heating engineers fell significantly. Vaillant from Remscheid doesn’t want to wait until the market picks up again and is turning the red pencil.

The heating technology company Vaillant wants to cut around 700 administrative jobs worldwide, including 300 in Germany. Dismissals for operational reasons should be avoided.

The family business announced on Monday in Remscheid, North Rhine-Westphalia, that they wanted to align the company with the new demand situation and future market and customer requirements. Last year, the European market for heating technology was around ten percent below the previous year’s level. This development continued in the first months of 2024.

The Vaillant Group has locations in around 20 countries. At the turn of the year, the company had 17,500 employees worldwide, around 5,000 of them in Germany. According to a spokesman, around 4,300 people work at the headquarters in Remscheid alone, most of them in administration. Accordingly, the dismantling in Germany will primarily affect the Remscheid site.

The spokesman continued that the job cuts should take place “as soon as possible”. Positions that become vacant should not be filled. Early retirement arrangements are also planned. The company also offers a voluntary exit program. Discussions with employee representatives about implementing the measures are already underway, the spokesman said.

In 2023, Vaillant increased its consolidated sales by three percent to 3.8 billion euros. The company did not provide any information about the profit. “We are a profitable company,” said the spokesman.

With a significant increase in sales of almost 50 percent, the heat pump business developed significantly better than the European heat pump market, as in previous years, the company also announced. “In Germany, the growth of the heat pump business was even more than 100 percent,” it said. This makes Vaillant the market leader in Germany and the third largest provider of heat pumps in Europe. The company maintained its leading position worldwide in the area of ​​gas heaters.

Vaillant says it has been concentrating on the heat pump business since 2016. Since then, the number of employees has grown by 5,000, including 1,500 in Germany alone. The company reiterated its goal of becoming a leading manufacturer of electric heat pumps. “To this end, the company will, among other things, open a new factory for the production of electronic components at its headquarters in Remscheid this fall.”

According to the Federal Association of the German Heating Industry (BDH), a total of 356,000 heat pumps were sold in Germany last year. The association estimates that fewer than 200,000 heat pumps will be sold in 2024.

Vaillant expects demand for heat pumps to increase again in the medium and long term. “The funding conditions are already very attractive in many European countries,” explained Vaillant boss Norbert Schiedeck.