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BMW to slash jobs

2007-12-24 09:15

Frankfurt - BMW wants to slash thousands of jobs next year to help it lower costs, with temporary posts set to be hardest hit, a spokesman for the German carmaker said on Friday.

There would be little impact on the core workforce of about 107 700 full-time workers, which would only be reduced through natural fluctuation and voluntary redundancy, he said.

German magazine Der Spiegel reported earlier on Friday that BMW planned to cut 8 000 jobs next year.

The BMW spokesman would not confirm the number of job cuts but noted the company had said it plans to boost profitability by cutting costs for materials, development and staff.

"We are working to change the trend in the development of our profitability," the spokesman said. "That also comprises personnel savings."

BMW has said it wants to boost productivity at its plants significantly and save around 6 billion euros by 2012 to help it catch up with rival carmakers' margins.

A spokesman for the IG Metall union in Bavaria, where BMW is based, said the company had been talking to unions about job cuts since May, but that the number of cuts discussed was only 3 000-4 000.

"The figure of 8 000 is a complete surprise to us," he said.

He added that a job guarantee agreed with BMW through 2014 meant that the core workforce could only be reduced on a voluntary basis.

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