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Autoliv Eliminating 3,000 Jobs

Swedish auto safety systems maker on Tuesday said it will cut about 7 percent of its work force to reduce costs and improve profitability.

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) -- Swedish auto safety systems maker Autoliv on Tuesday said it will cut up to 3,000 jobs -- about 7 percent of its work force -- to reduce costs and improve profitability.

The Stockholm-based company, which makes air bags and seat belts, didn't specify where the cuts will be made, but spokesman Henrik Kaar said its biggest production plants would probably be affected.

Autoliv has 43,000 employees worldwide, with the biggest units in Mexico, France and the U.S.

The company said the cuts, expected to generate pretax savings of $120 million annually starting in 2010, are needed to mitigate the effects of production cuts by customers and accelerating costs for raw materials.

The company expects the production of light vehicles -- cars, SUV's and pickup trucks -- to drop by 12 percent in North America and 5 percent in Western Europe. Those two regions account for 70 percent of Autoliv's revenues.

The announcement came as Autoliv reported second-quarter profit of $90.4 million, up 57 percent from $57.5 million in the same period last year. Sales rose 10 percent to $1.91 billion.

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