Avis offshores Manchester call centre... to Barcelona

180 UK staff to be offered the chance to relocate to the Catalan capital

180 UK staff to be offered the chance to relocate to the Catalan capital

Car hire company Avis Europe is to cut 200 jobs as part of a €53m cost-cutting organisational restructure that will see its Manchester call centre work moved to Barcelona.

There are currently 210 positions at the Manchester call centre and 180 of those staff will be offered the option of relocating to Avis' existing Barcelona operation to work on English-speaking customer services.

The remaining 30 positions in Manchester will be cut due to a duplication of roles at the Barcelona call centre. The rest of the job cuts are still subject to the employee consultation process and redundancies will be phased over the next 18 months.

Including €6m of exceptional costs in 2005 the restructuring will cost €53m over the next two years and the project is predicted to generate savings of €7m in 2006, €25m in 2007 and €30m a year after that.

The cost-cutting exercise also includes the acceleration of the transfer of back-office activities into Avis' shared service centre in Budapest and the renegotiation of some supplier contracts, including those for telecoms services.

Murray Hennessy, CEO of Avis Europe, said in a statement: "We are working closely with our staff to achieve these essential changes. This has been a difficult decision but necessary to ensure that we deliver on the goals set out in our recovery strategy and put Avis on the right track for the future."