Ford-owned and up-for-sale Volvo Cars says it has agreed cost reduction measures – including a wage freeze – with unions which it hopes will avoid the need for further job cuts.

“Volvo Car Corp and the labour unions have reached a unique agreement that means that further redundancies very probably can be avoided,” the company said in a statement.

“The deal means that all employees – both white-collar and blue-collar – contribute to lowering staff costs in 2009, in part by postponing the (next) wage round.”

The planned wage round would be postponed until January next year and salary cuts would also be introduced during the up to 45 days of planned downtime at the company’s plants, it added.

Volvo Cars has cut thousands of jobs in recent months to adjust to sharply lower sales.

“We are in an extreme situation with a continued weak market, mainly in the United States and Sweden, and we need to cut costs further,” Volvo Cars Chief Executive Stephen Odell said in the statement.