AGC Automotive Belgium will carry out a restructuring plan for its Fleurus site in Belgium, with 40 people out of the 188 workers set to lose their jobs.

A repositioning of the activity is said to be essential to ensure the long-term survival of the site.

These savings are said to be essential both to reduce the expected financial losses for the years 2021-2022 and to try to ensure the site's long-term survival by attracting new models and/or new investments.

AGC Automotive Belgium manufactures laminated glass for the European automotive sector.

The AGC Group is said to be finding it difficult to position itself on enough new vehicle models to ensure a correct level of saturation on all its laminated glass production lines.

This difficult situation has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 crisis, with a drop that economists believe will not be compensated before a period of three to five years.

For several years now, the European group's windscreen business has been under pressure and has struggled to make profit on this product range.

This is the consequence of fierce competition between European glassmakers, accentuated for several years by the arrival of Chinese suppliers in the same geographical area.

This pressure is even more reinforced as with the technological evolutions linked to vehicle connectivity, specifications have evolved, and production tools must be able to adapt to them.

At the same time, the automotive market is undergoing profound changes, such as changes in vehicle engines, the growing success of car-sharing systems and the expected advent of autonomous cars.

All of this is causing potential buyers to delay their purchase decision, resulting in a widespread decline on the automotive market.

Car manufacturers are reacting by merging to form "heavyweights" capable of achieving significant economies of scale, intensifying competition between their suppliers, and ultimately lowering the prices of their components, including glazing.