General Motors' loss-making European division is to cut 12,000 jobs in a bid to save $665m (£347m) annually.
GM hopes to avoid compulsory redundancies
The redundancies will affect a fifth of its workforce, with 10,000 positions going at Opel plants in Germany.
The rest of the jobs will be lost at Ellesmere Port in the UK, and sites in Belgium, Spain and Sweden, GM said.
In recent years, the company, which also makes the Vauxhall and Saab brands, has faced an increasingly competitive market.
The job cuts are part of a restructuring first announced in October.
GM Europe last saw a profit in 1999, despite earlier cost-cutting moves which saw production drop by more than a quarter.
Earlier this year, the company merged its European car-making businesses under a single regional chairman, based in Zurich.
GM said about 15% of managerial positions would be cut but none of its 11 plants would be closed.
Cutting costs will allow GM to fund new models as it bids to regain market share.
"Facing the realities of the market is absolutely imperative," said GM Europe president Carl-Peter Forster.
"Over the past three years, we worked very hard to find other solutions. Contrary to all
forecasts, however, the market has not improved.
"This restructuring program will give our brands the economic freedom they need to continue their model offensives."
A spokesman said GM hoped to avoid compulsory redundancies.
Brands: Saab, Vauxhall, Opel
Sales: 1.8m vehicles (2003)
Factories: 11 (Germany, Sweden, UK)
Finances: $161m loss H1 2004
In Germany, where GM employs 32,000 people, about 2,500 staff have already agreed to take early retirement.
In addition, talks with unions have resulted in a programme that will offer severance packages of up to 200,000 euros ($265,000; £138,000) as well as retraining and job placement.
About 6,000 of the jobs would be going from Opel's main German plant at Ruesselsheim, near Frankfurt.
GM said separate agreements are currently being negotiated with workers in other countries.