Sony to cut 8,000 jobs amid global downturn

Sony to cut 8,000 jobs amid global downturn

Tokyo: Sony is slashing 8,000 jobs, or 5% of its global electronics work force, aiming to cut costs by $1.1 billion a year as a global downturn batters profits.

Sony Corp. has said that it will cut the jobs from its electronics operations, which employ about 160,000 workers, by the end of March, 2010. It did not give a country breakdown for the layoffs.

Sony has already cut production and lowered inventories, but tough times demand more drastic efforts, the company said in a statement.

The electronics industry has been hurt by plunging prices, currency fluctuations, intense competition and a global slowdown in consumer spending.

Sony will end production at some plants, including one in France that makes tape and other recording media, and will continue moving electronics production to lower-cost areas. Manufacturing sites will be reduced by about 10% from 57%, it said.

These initiatives are in response to the sudden and rapid changes in the global economic environment, Sony said.

The new business plan will deliver more than ¥100 billion ($1.1. billion) in cost savings a year by March 2010, according to Sony.

The company will also postpone a planned investment to boost production of liquid crystal display TVs in Slovakia because of a plunge in European demand for flat-panel TVs.

The company will trim spending in semiconductors, and will outsource a portion of the production it had planned for image sensors for mobile phones.