Volvo mulling 500-1,000 jobs cuts at Belgian plant

Swedish carmaker Volvo Cars could shed 500 to 1,000 jobs at a plant in Ghent, in northern Belgium, because the weak dollar is hurting exports to the United States, a spokesman said Wednesday.

“There’s plans to cut three teams, which could lead to 500 jobs being cut. Some people are even talking of 1,000,” Volvo spokesman Mark De Mey said.

“Difficulties on the American market due to the dollar’s weakness have led us to consider these measures,” he said.

The US currency slumped to an all-time low on Tuesday, when the euro jumped to 1.4814 dollars on concerns about the US economy.

In reaction, the company aims to ramp down production from 220,000 units annually to 203,000.

“We told the unions last week, but the final decision will only be taken in the coming days,” De Mey said.

Management at the plant had recommended to the company’s headquarters to keep the three teams because production of Volvo’s XC 60 SUV is supposed to being in September 2008.