Sweden's two struggling car makers Thursday announced new measures to cut costs in an attempt to reverse spiraling losses, with Saab Automobile AB saying it will lay off nearly one-fifth of its work force and Cars freezing salaries and scaling back production.
Separately, the European Investment Bank, the European Union's long-term lending arm, approved 3 billion euros ($3.85 billion) in new loans for the bloc's troubled auto industry. The EIB also said it planned to submit a further 2.8 billion euros in loans to its board of directors in April and May.
The EIB said it lent 400 million euros each to Swedish truck makers Volvo AB and Scania AB and 200 million euros to Volvo Cars, owned by Ford Motor Co. France's PSA Peugeot-Citroen SA and SA, Italy's Fiat SpA and German auto makers BMW AG and Daimler AG will each receive 400 million euros. Most of the loans will go to projects that aim to increase fuel efficiency and cut s.
France, meanwhile, agreed to give 250 million euros in emergency funds to Renault Trucks, a of Volvo AB, on the condition it won't cut French jobs or plants.
Saab, which owner General Motors Corp. wants to offload by 2010, said it is giving notice to 750 staff at its Trollhattan plant in western Sweden. The car maker, which currently employs 4,100 people, filed for protection last month. In its struggle to survive, Saab is trying to gain the interest of investors so that it can continue operations after GM severs its ties.
The job cuts may also be necessary to get its own EIB loan, which the company applied for last month.
In a move to avoid more layoffs, rival Volvo Cars, which owner Ford is trying to sell, said it has signed a deal with unions to lower personnel costs. The measures, which include freezing salaries for all employees until January 2010, should save close to 500 million Swedish kronor ($57 million), the car maker said.
欧洲投资银行表示，它已分别向瑞典卡车制造商沃尔沃(Volvo)和斯堪尼亚(Scania)提供了4亿欧元贷款，向福特汽车公司(Ford Motor )旗下的沃尔沃汽车贷款2亿欧元。法国的标致雪铁龙(Peugeot-Citroen)和雷诺(Renault)、意大利的菲亚特(Fiat)及德国的宝马(BMW)和戴姆勒(Daimler)也将分别获得4亿欧元贷款。这些贷款大多将用于提高燃油效率、削减二氧化碳排放的项目。