Big names in the electronics and transport world are making major job cuts.
Sony is reducing its payroll by 5,000 – just over three percent of its global workforce – as part of an effort to trim the equivalent of 730 million euros a year from its fixed costs in the longer term.
The company also warned it expects steep losses this year.
The layoffs come as it quits the personal computer business and splits off its heavily loss-making TV division to focus more on making smartphones and tablets
Sony already announced 10,000 job losses in the past year. The additional 5,000 include 1,500 in Japan. The rest are in its oversees operations.
Charges associated with the moves will combine with weaker than expected showings in mobile phones, TVs and PCs to pitch the comany into a net loss this fiscal year of 110 billion yen (803 million euros) it said.
Speaking to reporters in Tokyo, Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai said spinning the TV unit off into a wholly owned subsidiary did not mean a disposal is imminent. “If you are asking if we have any plan to sell off our TV business, I can say we have absolutely no plan to do so right now,” he said.
But the CEO underlined that while he believes he can restore the company to lasting profit, it has to change. “I think we are heading in the right direction, and by making it a separate company we will speed decision-making up. As for the future, there are many possibilities, and not just for our TV business.”
Truckmaker doubles job cuts
Lorry maker Volvo has announced it is to increase its planned job cuts to 4,400 this year.
That is more than double its original layoff total announced last year and will involve staff in manufacturing, sales and marketing.
At the same time the world’s second largest truck manufacturer, which also makes construction equipment, buses and engines, said currency fluctuations and the cost of launching new models had pulled down its quarterly earnings.
Sweden’s biggest private sector employer did unveil a stronger-than-expected order intake in the fourth quarter on growth in North America, sending its shares up.
After its launch of new truck ranges last year, 2014 should see the brand-new models underpin growth while costs for research and development, a lower headcount and streamlining of its network of workshops should bolster profitability.
Volvo makes heavy-duty trucks under the Renault, Mack and UD brands as well as its own name