Mazda to eliminate over 100 jobs at its headquarters in Europe

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 15, 2012

As Mazda aims to reduce its worldwide losses, it will eliminate over 100 jobs at its headquarters in Europe. Their responsibilities will be accomplished by its national sales companies. Mazda told Automotive News Europe that its number of employees at its offices in Leverkusen, Germany, will shrink from 306 employees to 190.

Mazda said that it is restructuring its operations to enhance efficiency due to the "difficult global situation." In the future, Mazda Motor Europe's headquarters will be reduced to a strategic role. The responsibilities would then be assigned to its 22 national sales companies in the region.

Mazda said that the restructuring won’t affect Mazda's German sales company, which is located on the same site as the European headquarters. When interviewed at the Geneva auto show last week, Mazda Europe President Jeffrey Guyton said that for the fiscal year that ends this month, its sales are expected to decline to around 180,000 units in its 41 European markets from 212,000 units in the fiscal year, which ended in March 2011.

The Europe region for Mazda consists of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Turkey and Russia. This latest prediction, which suggests a 15% drop, is reflective of the weakened sales in Europe in the last quarter of 2011 and in the first quarter.

Guyton said last September at the Frankfurt auto show that Mazda expects flat sales at around 210,000 units for the fiscal year ending this month. Guyton anticipates that for the fiscal year starting in April, Mazda sales will rebound.

He didn’t give a particular figure though. Guyton said that by late April, Mazda will launch sales of the CX-5 compact crossover in Europe by late April. It will be priced from 20,000 euros to 35,000 euros. Mazda also forecasts that in a full year, it will sell about 40,000 CX-5s in Europe, representing just a quarter of the 160,000-unit global output of this vehicle.

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