BERLIN — Volkswagen Group plans to cut more jobs in Germany through voluntary measures such as partial retirement and buyout packages as part of efforts to trim fixed costs.

The agreement with labor representatives could lead to as many as 5,000 job reductions and about 500 million euros ($598 million) in restructuring expenses, according to Handelsblatt, which reported the news earlier Sunday.

“Due to our high investments in the expansion of electromobility and digitalization, Volkswagen was able to develop a pioneering role as a driver of automotive change,” VW’s personnel chief, Gunnar Kilian, said in a statement on Sunday. “This requires continued strict cost management in order to finance the necessary investments in the future,” he said.

Kilian did not confirm the number of jobs that would go.

Older employees who take early or partial retirement will have their pensions topped up, Handelsblatt said.

VW is also extending a hiring freeze until the end of the year, the paper said. It had previously only been in place until the end of the first quarter. External hires can only be made in areas such as information technology and software, Handelsblatt said.

VW said in December it planned to reach a deal with unions by the end of the first quarter to lower costs 5 percent by 2023 to free up funds for electric vehicles and software operations.

An existing labor deal at VW rules out forced layoffs until the end of the decade.

Reuters contributed to this report.



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