Volvo Group’s announcement in June that it would reduce its global white-collar workforce by more than 4,100 positions during the second half of 2020 due to the  Covid 19  pandemic has had consequences in Australia with a rumoured 90 employees being made redundant by the local operation this week.

Truck and Bus News has been told that the positions which have been made redundant are in head office in Brisbane and through the company’s retail network, however Volvo Group PR spokesperson Matt Wood, was not able to confirm numbers and would not be drawn on details at this point in time because as he explained that, “the process was still being worked through with many of the employees affected’.

Wood provided T&B News with a written general statement regarding the redundancies.

The Volvo statement says: In June this year, Volvo Group announced the planned reduction of 4100 jobs from its work force globally.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shattered economies around the world, the knock-on effect of which has been of course, a negative impact on Volvo Group business units.  

While Australia has to date been spared much of the initial impact of the pandemic both socially and economically, much of the economic impact of the virus is still to come.

The Australian economy is now officially in recession.

The forecast for the Australian heavy-duty truck market in 2021 is down by 35% on 2019 levels.

As a result, Volvo Group Australia will be making some positions redundant. This decision to reduce the size of our workforce is crucial to secure the future transformation and success of the company both locally and globally.

This is a difficult time for all at Volvo Group Australia, however the decision to reduce the size of our workforce is crucial to secure the future of the company both locally and globally, the statement concluded.

Back in June Volvo Group CEO Martin Lundstedt announced the move to reduce the workforce by 4100 people.

“The Corona epidemic and the global measures taken to fight it has led to a market situation impacting our industry severely,”  said Lundstedt,

“The effects are expected to be lower demand going forward and we need to continue to adjust our organization accordingly. In parallel, we will accelerate the competence shift needed for new technologies and business models.”

Volvo says since mid-2019 it has adjusted its activity levels by terminating temporary and consultant contracts.  The company says the need for staff reductions would have been higher without various governmental support packages enabling short-term layoffs and other similar measures.

“The Volvo culture will continue to be our guiding star in this work, where we will work as one team together with the unions to make this adjustment in a responsible way,” Lundstedt added.

“With these changes the Volvo Group will maintain a position of strength, be adapted to the new market situation and continue to be a leader in the transformation towards sustainable transport and infrastructure solutions.”