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Old 09-26-2002, 09:30   #1 (permalink)
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Volvo may lose 1,000 jobs through hiring freeze

Reuters / September 26, 2002
PARIS - Swedish-based carmaker Volvo, owned by Ford Motor Co., has set a recruitment freeze that could reduce its workforce by up to 1,000 people in coming months, a Volvo spokesman said on Thursday.

The spokesman said a hiring freeze had been announced in mid-August and there were currently 498 open positions that would not be filled. He added that in a normal year, staff turnover amounts to 200 to 500 jobs.

"We will get close to 1,000 jobs that will not be replaced," the spokesman said.

At the Paris auto show on Thursday, Mark Fields, head of Ford's Premier Automotive Group, which controls Volvo, said voluntary retirement programs were in place at Jaguar and Land Rover, which also are part of the luxury car unit.

He told Reuters that as a general rule, he was opposed to curbs on new hiring and foresaw no additional layoffs within the division.

Separately, the Swedish daily newspaper Expressen on its Web site quoted Volvo Cars President Hans-Olov Olsson as saying that that Volvo's total 2002 sales would fall to about 400,000 vehicles from 422,000.

"Of course it hurts in the short term to lose volumes, but we hope to recover it in the longer term," the newspaper quoted Olsson as saying.

Volvo would not join any pricing war and would not try to buy market share that way, he said.
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