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Geely's Volvo Cars notice 1,300 Swedish white-collar staff

Image:-Volvo car

Volvo Car Group, owned by China's Geely Holding, announced on Wednesday that it was giving redundancy notice to 1,300 white-collar workers in Sweden as the impact of the pandemic increased the urgency of reducing structural costs.

The carmaker, who has 24,000 employees in Sweden, excluding some 2,000 consultants, said the measures also included a continued review and reduction of consultancy contracts in a statement, but would not affect their manufacturing operations.

CEO Hakan Samuelsson said the coronavirus crisis highlighted Volvo's need to accelerate its work to transform the company, reducing its scope for expansion in areas such as online business, electrification and mobility in some areas.

It also needed to simplify the organisation, he told Reuters, to allow faster decision making.

"We want to get stronger out of the corona-crisis and that's why we're doing this," said Samuelsson. "When we get through this period, it'll be important to have the right cars, lots of electric cars, and I also think people will learn to shop more online." Volvo said the exact number of job cuts would be decided in the coming months in trade union negotiations.

The carmaker has been hit hard by the pandemic, which temporarily shuttered plants and strained supply chains because of draconian lockdowns in many key markets and transportation hubs, much like the rest of the auto industry.

Last week, after a three-week shutdown caused by the pandemic, Volvo reopened its Torslanda plant, its main factory in Sweden, and Samuelsson said on Wednesday that the restart had gone "very well," so far.