Volvo CEO sees no big sales rebound in 2013
Samuelsson targets savings measures to reach breakeven.
STOCKHOLM (Reuters) -- Volvo Car Corp. is expecting roughly flat sales next year but has no plans at present to cut more staff in its production, CEO Hakan Samuelsson said.
Asked in an interview with Swedish newspaper Dagens Industri if the company was budgeting for sales of 400,000 to 410,000 cars next year, roughly on par or slightly below this year's level, Samuelsson said: "Yes, we are expecting something in that order of magnitude.
"That is the level where we see the market bottoming out," he was quoted as saying in the business daily's Tuesday edition.
Volvo, which was sold by Ford Motor Co. to China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group in 2010, sold 450,000 cars last year and has an ambitious target to reach 800,000 in 2020, but so far this year weak demand has weighed heavily on sales.
This has caused Volvo to cut output and staff at its main production plants, located in western Sweden and in Ghent, Belgium, in the face of the dismal market demand in Europe as well as lackluster sales of Volvos in China.
Samuelsson, who replaced the ousted Stefan Jacoby as chief executive in October, said that while scattered measures to bring down costs for white-collar workers were being discussed, no further cuts where planned for production staff.
"We have now basically let go all temporary employees in Sweden and in Belgium there are only a few left," he said.
Samuelsson said the company had a list of savings measures to run through that would enable the carmaker to adjust to the soft market demand and which would give it the ability to reach breakeven.
Earlier this month, Samuelsson said it would be difficult to reach break-even at the operating level in 2012.Contact Automotive News