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Ford to cut 1,470 Volvo jobs

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Ford Motor Co., the second-biggest U.S. carmaker, is eliminating 5.3 percent of the workforce at its Volvo division to reduce spending and boost earnings.

The carmaker will eliminate 1,470 positions, primarily in Sweden and Belgium, out of a total workforce of 27,500 people, Gothenburg, Sweden-based Volvo Cars said Monday.

"We have to reduce the number of employees we have in order to be more effective," said Christer Gustafsson, a Volvo spokesman. "We are reviewing all cost-driving areas within the company."

The cuts at Volvo come on top of a worldwide reduction announced Oct. 20 by Ford of 10,000 positions by year's end through attrition and eliminating jobs. The Volvo reductions are not part of that plan, Gustafsson said.

Sales by the Ford brand in Europe fell 3.5 percent in the first nine months of the year, to 998,436 vehicles. Including the company's Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover and Aston Martin brands, sales fell 3.3 percent, to 1.29 million vehicles.

Worldwide sales of Volvo-brand vehicles fell 1.5 percent, to 373,798, in the 10 months ended Oct. 31, said Gustafsson. In Europe, the company's sales fell 0.9 percent, to 205,392, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association.

Ford doesn't provide details on earnings or revenue for Volvo. The Premier Automotive Group, Ford's luxury car division, reported a pretax loss of $108 million for the third quarter.

Volvo will eliminate 1,020 jobs in Sweden, 720 of which are permanent positions within the company and 300 are temporary consulting and services job, the carmaker said. The remaining 450 job cuts will come at Volvo's assembly plant in Belgium.

Chief Executive William Clay Ford Jr. has charged Mark Fields, the company's new chief for North and South America, with making final recommendations for a restructuring plan by next month. Work had begun under Fields' predecessor, Greg Smith, who is now the company's vice chairman.

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