March 3, 2020 / 1:00 PM / a month ago

European auto industry's plans to cut costs and jobs

(Reuters) - Europe’s auto industry is facing a slowdown in demand for new cars, as well as disruption from the coronavirus epidemic and import tariffs between China and the United States. As a result, several companies have announced plans to cut costs and jobs.

FILE PHOTO: Covered cars are pictured at the Palexpo exhibition centre as the 90th edition of the International Motor Show is cancelled to curb the spread of the coronavirus, in Geneva, Switzerland, February 28, 2020. REUTERS/Pierre Albouy/

Here is a summary of the steps announced so far:

AUTOMAKERS:

VOLKSWAGEN GROUP (VOWG_p.DE)

Volkswagen said in March 2019 it would cut up to 7,000 positions and aim to deliver 5.9 billion euros ($6.7 billion) of annual savings at its core VW brand by 2023.

Volkswagen’s luxury car unit Audi (NSUG.DE) said in November it would cut one in ten jobs by 2025, up a total of 9,500, to fund its shift towards electric vehicle production.

PSA GROUP (PEUP.PA), FIAT CHRYSLER (FCHA.MI)

PSA’s German unit Opel said in February it was ruling out forced redundancies until July 2025, but would reopen a voluntary leave programme for older employees.

Unions at Fiat Chrysler, which is planning a merger with PSA, said management promised to avoid redundancies and get all group employees off special furlough arrangements and back to work by 2022.

The merger aims to achieve annual savings of 3.7 billion euros.

BMW (BMWG.DE)

In November, BMW management and its German labour representatives reached an agreement on changes to payout schemes and bonuses to reduce costs in Germany while avoiding “drastic measures”. BMW has said it will keep headcount stable, as hiring in software development will offset voluntary staff reductions in other areas.

DAIMLER (DAIGn.DE)

In February, German business daily Handelsblatt reported Daimler (DAIGn.DE) was intensifying its cost-cutting measures and planning to cut up to 15,000 jobs. Daimler declined to comment.

Daimler Chief Executive Ola Kaellenius said in February the company would cut 1,100 leadership positions worldwide, or about 10% of its management over the next three years.

The company also said it would revamp the management of its portfolios to remove duplicate layers between Mercedes-Benz and Daimler AG.

VOLVO CARS

In July 2019, Volvo Cars announced plans to cut fixed costs by 2 billion Swedish crowns ($214 million), adding the savings drive - on which it did not provide details - would come into effect in the second half of 2019 and run into the first half of 2020.

JAGUAR LAND ROVER

In February, Britain’s biggest carmaker Jaguar Land Rover (TAMO.NS) said it would reduce or stop production on certain days at two of its British factories as it was pursuing cost-cutting measures in response to falling demand.

A month earlier, the company said it would cut around 10% of the workforce at its northern English Halewood factory, which has about 4,500 employees, as it was changing shift patterns to boost efficiency at the site.

RENAULT (RENA.PA)

After Renault’s first full-year loss in a decade, the French automaker said it would cut costs by 2 billion euros over the next three years and did not exclude job cuts during a performance review across its factories.

BOSCH

In January, German engineering company Bosch said it would make staff changes via shorter working hours, voluntary redundancy and severance packages, but declined to provide a global figure for headcount reductions.

CONTINENTAL (CONG.DE)

German automotive supplier Continental said in November it would pare back its engine manufacturing activities, which could result in around 5,040 job losses by 2028.

Reporting by Bartosz Dabrowski, Zuzanna Szymanska and Tommy Lund in Gdansk; Editing by Mark Potter

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