Volvo slashes 3,300 jobs

Volvo cars has announced plans to lay off more than 3,000 staff, including 2,000 factory workers and 700 office workers in Sweden.

Volvo slashes 3,300 jobs

The beleaguered Swedish car maker, a unit of US auto giant Ford, previously announced 2,900 cuts earlier this year.

“This morning, the Swedish Public Employment Service has been informed of additional redundancies affecting around 2,000 blue collar employees and 700 white collar employees in Sweden,” Volvo said in a statement.

“Outside Sweden, an additional 600 employees will be made redundant and some 700 contracts with consultants will be terminated,” it added.

The layoff announcement was the second from Volvo Cars since June, when it previously said it would cut 1,200 jobs in Sweden and 800 abroad.

“The total redundancy actions now planned to be initiated account for 6,000 people worldwide, of which 1,200 are consultants,” it said.

Company chief executive Stephen Odell insisted that the latest layoffs were needed.

“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,” he said in the press release.

“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 explained.

Last month, the company said it planned to cut 900 extra jobs in Sweden in addition to the 2,000 cuts announced worldwide in June, but on Wednesday it stressed that the global financial crisis had pushed it to significantly increase that figure.

“Given the turbulence in the world economy over the last few weeks … it is clear that further costs saving actions are necessary for the company to manage the difficult market situation,” the statement said.

“The new organisation is expected to be in place by the end of the year,” it added.

At the end of 2007, Volvo Cars had 24,400 employees worldwide, including 17,600 in Sweden.