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Wednesday, February 21, 2024
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Airbags owner to slash its workforce by 11%

The parent company of Congleton firm Airbags, the world’s leading manufacturer of airbags and seatbelts, has announced plans to cut approximately 8,000 jobs in response to the “challenges” posed by high inflation.

The company said it planned to reduce its global direct headcount by around 6,000 positions globally, or around 11% of total direct workforce.

Autoliv said it would also “simplify its logistics and geographic footprint” and intended to close several sites in Europe, expected to reduce up to 2,000 indirect positions globally, or around 11% of Autoliv’s total indirect workforce. Of this, up to 1,000 are expected to be in Europe.

The company said it was accelerating cost-saving measures “to navigate the current economic landscape”.

The Swedish company, which supplies renowned automakers worldwide, said the indirect positions included employees who were not directly involved in the production lines.

Autoliv’s CEO Mikael Bratt said that Autoliv intended to “simplify and consolidate” its operations in various areas.

Volvo Cars recently announced the elimination of 1,300 positions, while electric carmaker Polestar revealed plans to reduce its workforce by 10%.

Autoliv warned about the challenges posed by cost inflation in early 2022, which was reportedly the most severe in three decades. The company had sought to pass on these increased costs to its customers.

“These initiatives will continue to optimise our geographic footprint for a more effective structure. We intend to simplify and consolidate how we operate in all areas,” Mr Bratt said.

The company reiterated its forecast to shareholders, originally provided in April, which projects an increase in its adjusted operating margin to approximately 8.5-9%.

The company said it “continues to negotiate” with its customers to secure pricing that reflected “the extraordinary inflation” and “correct structural price gaps”.

The highest priority and greatest challenge were the customer negotiations in Europe, the firm said.

“We work intensely with customers to secure price increases, and we will not stop until we have received full and fair compensation to ensure that inflationary pressures are effectively pushed through the value chain,” Mr Bratt said.

The company was asked to comment over any job losses at the Congleton plant.

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