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BMW management and labour reach agreement to cut costs

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By Reuters
BMW management and labour reach agreement to cut costs
FILE PHOTO: BMW i8 is displayed at the LA Auto Show in Los Angeles, California, U.S., November 20, 2019. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson   -   Copyright  LUCY NICHOLSON(Reuters)

HAMBURG (Reuters) – BMW <BMWG.DE> management and labour have reached an agreement on measures to reduce costs that avoids “drastic measures”, the German carmaker said on Wednesday.

BMW had been in talks with labour representatives and its top suppliers as it seeks to achieve cost savings of more than 12 billion euros (£10 billion) by 2022.

The agreement involves reducing a payout scheme for workers based on company profits, as well changes to Christmas and other bonuses for some workers. The measures are effective from 2020.

The announcement comes a day after Volkswagen’s <VOWG_p.DE> luxury car unit Audi <NSUG.DE> said it would cut one in 10 jobs, freeing up billions of euros to fund its shift towards electric vehicle production.

“We have achieved a solution based on solidarity. This allows us to avoid drastic measures that others are currently taking to reduce their costs,” CEO Oliver Zipse said.

Carmakers have been struggling with an auto industry downturn, particularly in China, and the need to increase investment in electric vehicles as several countries move to eventually ban conventional combustion engines.

Rival Daimler <DAIGn.DE> as well as car suppliers Continental <CONG.DE> and Osram <OSRn.DE> have also recently announced staff and cost cuts.

(Reporting by Jan Schwarz; writing by Tom Sims; editing by Thomas Seythal and Jason Neely)