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BMW has said several hundred permanent staff had agreed to redundancy packages as it seeks to cut thousands of jobs to improve profitability.

BMW has also reaffirmed its forecasts for the full year, which include record sales volumes for all three brands, Reuters reported.

“Excluding the exceptional gain on the Rolls-Royce exchangeable bond recognised in 2007, we are aiming to achieve higher pre-tax group earnings in 2008 than in 2007,” Chief Executive Norbert Reithofer said in a statement.

The company did not give an exact number of permanent employees who had agreed to redundancy packages according to the report.

BMW is aiming to cut 8,100 jobs worldwide, including 3,100 permanent staff as it seeks to improve profitability. Voluntary redundancies are key as the carmaker has a labour accord stopping it laying off German employees through the end of 2013, Reuters noted.

The cuts are intended to generate annual savings of EUR500m starting in 2009. BMW wants to reduce its initially budgeted costs by EUR6bn by 2012.

See also: FEATURE: BMW’s calm before the ‘double cone cyclone’