Mercedes-Benz workers at the car manufacturer's trucks business will be offered voluntary redundancy, parent company Daimler has announced. The German company said it was seeking to reduce its annual costs by €400 through budget and headcount reductions.

Reuters reported on Friday that the group had met with representatives and agreed to launch the programme on May 1. The cuts would apply, it said, to white collar positions and production workers would not be affected by the unspecified number of job losses.

Speaking to Reuters a spokesperson for the manufacturer said: "The decision was not easy, but considering the volatile truck market and tough competition we did not see any other choice."

German newspaper Stuttgarter Zeitung said somewhere between 1000 to 2000 jobs were expected to be cut, of the 15,000 staff.

Other measures that might be used to reduce the headcount were cited as early retirement, transfers to different areas of the business and attrition at the company which the newspaper said was considered "out of date and too expensive".

The news follows the announcement of a global recall of approximately one million Mercedes-Benz vehicles in March, including 75,000 in the UK and 307,629 in the US. The recall was announced as a result of a faulty starter fuse which had led to over 50 fires, though there were no injuries reported as a result of the fault.

The company offered those affected a complimentary fix involving the addition of a fuse in the electrical line to the starter. Meanwhile unsold vehicles could not be sold until the alteration had been made.

A number of European car manufacturers have announced staff cuts last six months, including Volkswagen which anticipated 30,000 job losses in the midst of an ongoing emissions scandal. Last month the Unite union threatened Ford with strike action in response to a possible 1,160 job losses at its Bridgend engine plant.

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Mercedes-Benz trucks business is expected to see between 1000 and 2000 job lossesReuters