Volkswagen AG (IW 1000/8) reached a landmark agreement with workers to cut as many as 30,000 jobs globally and save 3.7 billion euros (US$3.9 billion) in expenses as the company tries to claw back from the emissions-cheating scandal and invest in electric vehicles.
Reducing headcount by nearly 5% will come through attrition as the automaker agreed to refrain from forced layoffs until 2025, the Wolfsburg, Germany-based company said Friday. After months of intense talks, labor and management agreed on a package to balance cost-cutting with investment as the auto industry shifts away from traditional combustion engines and adapts to car-sharing services and self-driving technologies.
“This is a big step forward, maybe the biggest in the company’s history,” VW brand chief Herbert Diess said at a press conference in Wolfsburg. “All manufacturers must rebuild themselves because of the imminent changes for the industry. We need to brace for the storm.”