Volkswagen has announced 30,000 job cuts in a restructuring drive designed to help the company recover from the diesel emissions scandal which began more than a year ago.
The losses will come in Volkswagen - not its other brands – with 23,000 in Germany.
The cuts are designed to help achieve 3.7 billion euros ($3.92 billion) in annual savings by 2020 to fund a shift to electric and self-driving cars. It expects a 25% improvement in productivity at German plants, which will be home to the new generation of vehicles.
Matthias Müller, the chief executive, said this was the “biggest reform package in the history of our core brand”.
VW admitted in September 2015 that 11m diesel cars had been fitted with software that cheated emissions tests. The fallout led to its first annual loss in more than 20 years. And VW faces legal and regulatory cases worldwide.
Herbert Diess, the head of the VW brand, said: “It’s a major step forward and undoubtedly one of the biggest in the history of the company.
“I am very sorry for those affected, but the situation of the brand at the moment gives us little room for manoeuvre.
“We are tackling the problems at the root, even if it’s painful. Many didn’t think we could do it. Today, we have shown that Volkswagen can and will change.”
VW wants to increase the brand's profit margin from 2% to 4%.
VW employs 600,000 people worldwide, including 120,000 in Germany. There will also be job cuts in Brazil and Argentina.