A report in the Financial Times says that General Motors will axe almost one in five of its 62,000-strong European workforce to lower costs by about $500m a year. The report also said that GM plans to make an announcement on Thursday.

Germany will bear the brunt of the approximately 12,000 job losses, but the company will stop short of immediate factory closures the FT article said, citing GM sources.

The report also said that more than 6,000 of the 32,000 GM jobs in Germany would be part of the planned workforce reduction.

Opel’s sites in Eisenach and in Gliwice, Poland, are thought to be relatively safe from the threat of job cuts.

Two of the company’s biggest factories will remain under threat, with a decision due next year on whether to build the new Vectra and Saab 9-3 mid-sized cars in Rüsselsheim, near Frankfurt, or at Saab’s Trollhättan base in Sweden, the FT said.