Volvo Cars announced on 29 April 2020 that it will lay-off 1,300 white-collar positions in its Swedish operations. The company was giving notice to the affected employees in order to accelerate its transformation to effectively position the company for long term growth, the announcement said.
The exact nature and amount of job reductions will be decided over the coming months in negotiations with the unions. The company’s manufacturing operations will not be affected.
Volvo Cars aims to lead the transformation in areas such as online business, electrification, autonomous drive and new mobility models. While the company has invested and grown substantially in these areas, it now aims to reduce in non-focus areas to support further growth longer-term.
The company also aims to become more agile and reduce hierarchies that are slowing down decision-making and execution.
Although the notices are part of the ongoing realignment of the company’s operations in line with its long-term ambitions and need for structural cost reductions, the coronavirus pandemic has increased the pertinence of the measures announced today.
Hanna Fager, head of People Experience Department said “The coronavirus pandemic is affecting us in the short term, but we expect volumes and growth to return. So we need to continue investing in our ongoing transformation and new business areas, by reducing structural costs.”
Volvo Cars was the first conventional car maker to commit to electrifying its entire line-up and phasing out cars only powered by an internal combustion engine. The company also established a new and still rapidly expanding battery development lab in Torslanda, an investment of approximately 600 million SEK.
There are further multi-billion SEK investment plans in its Swedish operations to adapt its industrial footprint to new technologies, securing jobs in the long term.
Going forward, cars will also increasingly receive software and operating system updates over the air. Constant product improvement means that Volvo cars will keep evolving and upgrading over time, rather than being at their peak when they leave the factory.
Volvo Cars also has the ambition to become a supplier of choice for global ride-hailing firms and aims to establish five million direct consumer relationships through new forms of mobility.