By LOUISE NORDSTROM, AP
STOCKHOLM, Sweden — Ford-owned carmaker Volvo Cars said Wednesday it will slash more than 13 percent of its work force because of falling global demand.
Citing a “rapidly deteriorating market situation in the global car industry,” the Goteborg-based company said it would cut about 3,300 jobs, of which 2,000 would be blue-collar and 700 of them white-collar positions in Sweden.
Another 600 jobs would be eliminated abroad and some 700 contracts with consultants would be terminated.
Including staff reductions already announced in June, Volvo Cars said total layoff numbers now come to around 6,000 people worldwide, of which about 1,200 are consultants.
“These are difficult times for the car industry in general, including Volvo. These actions are necessary to create a new and sustainable Volvo Car Corporation – a company with more focused operations and structure,” Volvo Car President and CEO Stephen Odell said.
“The unstable economic environment has resulted in a very unpredictable situation, and the downturn in the global car industry is more drastic than expected,” he said.
In September, Volvo said it expected around 900 blue-collar employees to be affected by staff cuts, but, it said, “given the turbulence in the world economy over the last few weeks, however, it is clear that further costs saving actions are necessary for the company to manage the difficult market situation.”
Cash-strapped Ford was seeking buyers for Volvo last year, but the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker said in November that Volvo was no longer for sale.
In January, Volvo had around 24,500 employees worldwide and most work in the southwestern Swedish city of Goteborg.