General Motors’ Saab unit plans to cut jobs in Sweden next year to reduce costs as sales decline and it faces a full-year loss, The Detroit News reported.


“We need to focus on reducing costs and being more efficient,” Saab spokesman Niklas Andersson said, according to the newspaper.


The Detroit News said the Trollhattan, Sweden-based maker of 9-3 and 9-5 model cars has been mostly unprofitable since GM acquired a stake in 1990 and that GM has said its European unit will have a loss of at least $US350 million this year.


Saab had a first-half loss of 120 million euros and will sell about 125,000 cars this year, below its 140,000-car target set earlier in the year, Andersson said, according to the Detroit News. It’s aiming to sell 250,000 cars annually in about five years, the newspaper added.


The Detroit News said Saab had been hurt by the cost of introducing the redesigned 9-3 this autumn and the Swedish krona’s 16% rise against the dollar so far this year which reduced profit from the United States, where it sells a third of its cars.


Overall demand in the United States and Germany has been “under pressure,” the newspaper cited spokesman Andersson as saying.


According to the Detroit News, Andersson said Saab, which employs 10,000 workers with most in Sweden, hasn’t decided whether to fire workers.


“It could be that a retirement programme is enough but we’re not sure,” the newspaper cited Andersson as saying, adding that he wouldn’t say how many jobs are at risk.


The Detroit News, again citing Andersson, said Saab would announce a reorganisation plan for next year in late November or early December and noted that GM is also cutting jobs and factory capacity at its unprofitable German-based Opel unit.