Daimler’s boosted cost-cut target puts 20,000 jobs at risk, report says

Europe

Daimler’s plans to make deeper cost cuts than planned before the global pandemic could translate to the elimination of about 20,000 jobs, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Mercedes-Benz maker has boosted its labor-cost savings target to 2 billion euros ($2.3 billion) from 1.4 billion euros, said the people, who asked not to be identified because talks with union representatives are still ongoing. The final number of job cuts will be determined by different factors, including acceptance rates of voluntary buyouts and efforts to outsource some IT services.

A Daimler spokesman declined to comment on speculation. Manager Magazin reported earlier Wednesday that Daimler might cut as many as 30,000 jobs. The Stuttgart, Germany-based company has almost 300,000 employees worldwide.

Daimler will give a clearer picture of its earnings performance Thursday, a week after reporting a preliminary second-quarter loss of 1.68 billion euros ($1.9 billion) before interest and taxes. A recovery in vehicle demand late in the second quarter spared the company from losing as much money as analysts were expecting, sending shares climbing to the highest in more than a month.

“The outlook and depth of restructuring will be of equal interest to investors,” Bloomberg Intelligence analysts Michael Dean and Gillian Davis wrote in a July 17 report looking ahead to Daimler’s full results.

CEO Ola Kallenius said during Daimler’s annual general meeting earlier this month the automaker must sharpen its expense-cutting efforts to shore up returns. The company is reviewing its global manufacturing network to get rid of excess capacity, which may lead to the sale of a factory in France. It has already halted plans to expand a site in Hungary.

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