The former Siemens VDO headquarters in Regensburg, will bear the brunt of job cuts planned by new owner Continental.

Continental will cut around 500 jobs out of a total of 7,000.

The move is part of a planned 2,000 job cuts that Continental has planned as part of its integration of Siemens VDO, which it acquired at the end of last year.

CEO Manfred Wennemer has said that he hopes he would not have to force redundancies. "We cannot and do not want to rule out forced redundancies but they are the ultima ratio, when there is no other possibility," he said.

The figure includes all 450 manufacturing jobs at VDO's Wetzlar plant.

Continental expects the integration of the Siemens VDO business should achieve net synergy returns of more than EUR300m by 2010.

As a result of the acquisition Continental is now the fifth largest global supplier. For 2008 it is targeting sales of more than EUR26.4bn, up from EUR16.6bn in 2007.