ThyssenKrupp has announced an extensive restructuring plan for German factories producing springs and stabilisers at a cost of about 500 jobs.

Production of stabilisers at Olpe will stop by the end of 2021.

The Hagen site will be "realigned" and converted to a "centre of excellence" for the development and manufacture of springs and stabilisers.

Around 490 jobs will be "impacted" at the two sites, about 330 of those at Olpe.

"In the coming weeks agreements are to be reached with the employee representatives on a reconciliation of interests and a social plan for the two sites," Thyssenkrupp said.

Automotive technology division CEO Karsten Kroos added: "The restructuring of the two sites is an unavoidable and right step to return the business to profit.

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"The two plants were no longer competitive in the current setup.

"Price levels in the respective product segments are too low and overcapacities on the market too high.

"That is why we have decided to combine the remaining production and development activities at one site and further streamline the organisation."

Current orders will be completed by the end of 2021 before production finishes.

Employees will be found work elsewhere within the group or assisted to find posts elsewhere.

All future development and production of springs and stabilisers in Germany will be concentrated in Hagen.

This will include prototyping, small batch stabiliser production and spare parts plus production of springs for heavy cars and electric vehicles.

There will be a higher degree of automation resulting in the loss of around 160 jobs by early 2022.

A "socially responsible restructuring process will be determined in the upcoming negotiations with the works council and trade unions", the supplier said.

Thyssenkrupp's springs and stabilisers business currently operates nine production sites in Germany, Hungary, Brazil, Mexico and China and employs around 3,400 people worldwide.