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Daewoo Cutting 6,500 Jobs Worldwide
Associated Press
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SEOUL, South Korea — Ailing Daewoo Motor Co. said Monday it plans to eliminate 6,500 of the 46,000 jobs at its overseas production and sales units within this year.

The move is in line with the restructuring program of Daewoo, Korea's third biggest automaker which is trying to make itself more attractive for a takeover by U.S. auto giant General Motors Corp. Daewoo has cut its domestic work force by more than 30 percent to 10,000 in the past year.

"The restructuring is inevitable for Daewoo to slim down and survive," said Kim Sang-soo, a Daewoo spokesman. "The job cuts will be pushed at all 15 overseas production and 31 sales units."

The manpower reduction came on the heels of the company's recent decision under which four Daewoo units in Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand and Myanmar were liquidated or spun off.

Daewoo also said its Polish passenger car unit, FSO, and its Indian unit, DMIL, are aggressively implementing restructuring moves but declined to disclose details.

It said, however, that creditors of those Polish and Indian units will be allowed to make debt-for-equity swaps if they so choose.

As part of its restructuring, FSO has recently agreed with the Polish government and its union on a plan to slash 1,294 employees, or 26.2 percent of its entire 4,943-member workforce, while the Indian unit has cut 865 of its 2,880 jobs.

Daewoo has a capacity of 1 million cars in plants at home and 800,000 in plants abroad.

Meanwhile, South Korea's Pohang Iron and Steel Co. denied a report Monday by the national Yonhap news agency that it was considering a takeover of Daewoo Motor.

"The report is simply not true," said Lee Sang-choon, a spokesman for the steel giant.

Daewoo Motor collapsed during the 1997-98 Asian economic crisis. Its domestic operations are now under court receivership with an estimated debt of $15 billion.

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