HAMBURG, Germany -- Volkswagen's plans to cut payrolls via voluntary redundancies began to take shape on Wednesday as the carmaker told staff at its main German plant it would start approaching candidates in the weeks ahead.
Brochures put up in the Wolfsburg plant and seen by Reuters gave no concrete targets for headcount reduction.
Chief Executive Bernd Pischetsrieder has said Europe's biggest carmaker has several thousand too many staff at its western German plants, where about 100,000 people work.
The brochures say staff between between ages 57 and 61 who leave can draw 85 percent of their net income until they reach retirement age. Younger staff get different deals and the chance to reduce working hours at correspondingly lower pay.
For example, a 42-year-old worker with 13 years of service and pay grade 18 can get a package worth 75,499 euros ($90,610).
The packages are less generous than those offered by rival DaimlerChrysler to entice up to 8,500 Mercedes staff in high-cost Germany to leave voluntarily.
Daimler has earmarked 950 million euros for the program, or about 110,000 euros per worker on average.
"DaimlerChrysler wants to reduce staff as quickly as possible and thus is paying a lot of money. VW is paying less and is counting on a longer-term reduction," said Arndt Ellinghorst, analyst at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein.