Tony O'Kane | Dec 9, 2008

Times are tough, and when the accountants start breaking out the red ink something's gotta give. Volvo, like pretty much every other car manufacturer, has been feeling the economic squeeze lately, and has just announced that it'll be shedding a total of 4616 employees by the end of this month as part of an effort to reduce operating costs.

The bulk of the redundancies are concentrated in the Ford-owned automaker's home of Sweden, with 2034 blue collar and 297 white collar workers being shown the door. Volvo's administrative and manufacturing workforce from its international operations has also been cut by 680, with 200 of those being blue collar employees. In addition, 1215 consultants have also had their contracts terminated by the company.

Around 1000 employees have been able to find new jobs within Volvo as part of a workforce redistribution program, but for the remaining 3500-odd who will soon be out of a job, their futures are very much uncertain. Suffice to say, it's likely that very few of them will be working in auto manufacturing any time soon.

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