Car giant Volkswagen is to shed 30,000 jobs as it looks to slash costs and accelerate its recovery from the damaging diesel emissions scandal.
The German maker of models such as the Polo and Golf said that 23,000 of the job cuts will come in its home country. Other major job cuts are likely at locations in Brazil and Argentina.
The measures are designed to save the equivalent of more than £3 billion a year from 2020 and enable it to invest more in electric-powered vehicles and digital services.
VW has agreed to pay almost £13bn under a settlement with US authorities and owners of some 500,000 vehicles with software that turned off emissions controls. Some 11 million cars worldwide have similar software fitted.
The group has said it aims to cut non-essential costs and investments and direct money towards battery-powered cars and services such as car-sharing and ride-sharing.
The emissions debacle has been a spur for the company to address problems such as excessively top-down management and excessive fixed costs at its manufacturing locations in Germany.
Chief executive Matthias Mueller described the turnaround plans as “the biggest reform package in the history of our core brand”. VW’s other brands include Audi, Lamborghini and Skoda.
Herbert Diess, head of the core Volkswagen brand, conceded that the firm had let its costs rise and “lost ground in terms of productivity.” The changes, he argued, would make the company “leaner and more efficient.”
Volkswagen Group, with its multiple brands, has more than 600,000 employees worldwide but the cuts will mainly impact on its 120,000-strong German workforce.