Geely-owned Volvo Cars is to cut up to 1,000 jobs by the end of the year, the company's chief executive told Sweden's public broadcaster SVT on Wednesday.

"You have to adjust to reality," Haakan Samuelsson said in an interview, cited by news agency AFP.

A spokesman for the company, Per-Aake Froeberg, told Swedish radio that "by the end of the year, there will be 1,000 fewer of us."

The company axed 1,100 positions last year, most of which were in its assembly plants. By contrast, most of those affected by Wednesday's announcement would be white collar workers, SVT said.

Volvo Cars said in September it employed 22,400 people.

The troubled car maker will soon launch a SKR1.5bn (EUR178m or US$239m) cost cutting drive, after sales dipped 18% in January, the Swedish broadcaster wrote on its website.

The Gothenburg-based company sold 422,000 cars in 2012, which was 6% fewer than the year before. The European market was especially tough, dipping by 10%.

Geely acquired Volvo Cars in 2010 and the brand has since seen its market share decline and profits dwindle.