According to foreign media reports, people familiar with the matter said that Volvo plans to cut about 700 white-collar workers in the United States and Canada, a reduction of more than 10%, and will cut regional staff through early retirement, which is expected to take effect in early October.
According to media reports, Volvo plans to spend $88 million to promote a global program codenamed CORE+. The plan aims to tighten spending, improve efficiency and update the workforce to welcome the arrival of cars in the era of pure electric vehicles. As part of the plan, Volvo is restructuring operations in the United States and Canada. In addition, sources say Volvo has scaled back its Silicon Valley technology center and Southern California design center as it integrates operations in other parts of the world. Volvo's Silicon Valley technology center has about 80 employees, at least 75 per cent of whom have been laid off, and most of the work at the center has been transferred to Volvo's US headquarters in New Jersey, according to people familiar with the matter.
In other words, Volvo's layoffs may have something to do with its promotion of electrification. As of press time, Volvo officials did not respond to the news.
It is important to note that this is not the first time Volvo has laid off staff this year. Volvo announced on May 4 that it would cut about 1300 office workers in Sweden to cut costs and is likely to take further steps in the coming months to improve the cost and efficiency of its global operations.
In fact, in the context of rapid changes in the auto market, layoffs in the auto industry are inevitable. Previously, car companies, including Ford and General Motors, have also made layoffs in order to speed up the transition to electrification. Industry insiders said: "two major trends in the automotive industry are inevitable, one is the transformation of new energy, and the other is the large-scale popularity of smart cars. It will take at least five years to achieve the above trend." After the industry begins to take shape and the market pattern is stable, large-scale layoffs may be stopped. "
Volvo, founded in Gothenburg, Sweden in 1927, is a well-known Swedish luxury car brand. In 1999, Volvo Group sold its Volvo car business to Ford Motor of the United States. In 2010, Geely Holdings Group acquired the Volvo car business from Ford Motor and acquired the ownership of the Volvo car brand, which is also a famous case of "snake swallowing elephant" in automobile history.
Electrification transformation is considered to be an important part of Volvo's sustainable strategy, and it is also one of the first traditional luxury brands to start electrification transformation. As early as 2017, Volvo has proposed a comprehensive electrification strategy, but it is not smooth on the road of electrification transformation.
At present, Volvo's sales source still depends on fuel cars, and the only electric cars are mainly plug-in models. Take the Chinese market as an example, according to the official website, Volvo currently implements four domestic models in China, including S90, S60, XC60 and XC40, of which S90, S60 and XC60 introduce plug-in hybrid models on the basis of fuel vehicles, while XC40 launches pure electric models on the basis of fuel vehicles. It should be noted that under the background of the substantial expansion of new energy vehicles, the luxury car market has been eroded by new power brands such as Azura and ideals, and it is difficult for the "oil to electricity" model to become the mainstream of the new energy vehicle market.
Volvo's cumulative sales rose 18 per cent year-on-year to 447500 vehicles from January to August in 2023, while China's cumulative sales rose 5 per cent to 108500 vehicles, according to the data. Of these, global sales rose 18 per cent in August from a year earlier to 51600 vehicles, with new energy models accounting for 33 per cent, up 78 per cent from a year earlier. Last month, Volvo stressed that China was one of Volvo's most dynamic markets in the world and that it would continue to accelerate its full electrification transformation in China and around the world.
According to the plan, Volvo's pure electric models will account for 50% of total sales by 2025 and will be completely transformed into an all-electric brand by 2030, eliminating all models with internal combustion engines. According to the latest news, Volvo's first pure electric luxury MPV EM90 will be launched around the world on November 12.
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