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Volkswagen Combines Canadian, American Operations

August 5, 1994

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) _ More than 425 Volkswagen employees in the United States and Canada will lose their jobs when the company combines operations for the two countries, Volkswagen said Thursday.

Volkswagen will cut its salaried personnel in the United States and Canada to 561 from 986 through early retirement and other inducements, said Maria Leonhauser of Volkswagen of America Inc, a subsidiary of the German carmaker.

The company has been looking to streamline operations for some time, but was waiting for sales to pick up so as not to give the impression that Volkswagen was pulling out of North American market, Leonhauser said.

Volkswagen’s U.S. sales for January through July were 57,695, up 132 percent from the same time last year, the company said. Sales in Canada were 16,899, up more than 31 percent over the same period in 1993.

The company plans to establish six regions to handle customer and dealer relations. Volkswagen and Audi operations primarily will be based in Auburn Hills. The transition is expected to be completed by Dec. 31.

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