The German manufacturer hopes the ‘ForMotion’ efficiency programme will reduce costs by €3.5 billion (£2.4bn).
VW has not made any final agreements towards how many jobs will be lost, but the board is said to be rapidly conducting negotiations with work councils and the IG Metall trade union.
Dr. Bernd Pischetsrieder, VW chairman, said: "In particular, the export capability of the German VW plants is not ensured. We continue to incur significant losses on cars exported from Germany to the USA. In order to ensure a secure long-term future for the group, we must act rapidly and determinedly to eliminate the problems that we face."
“Our restructuring programme focuses precisely on the key problems we have identified. Rapid, determined action is called for in this area," said Pischetsrieder.
ForMotion will address problems across the company including the elimination of productivity deficits, especially at the vehicle assembly plants; full capacity deployment at the plants, including capacity adjustments where necessary; more competitive personnel expenses and a reorganisation of component production.