Chinese-owned Swedish automaker Volvo Cars said Wednesday it was cutting up to 1,300 white-collar jobs in Sweden in a restructuring accelerated by the impact of the new coronavirus.

The company said the notices were part of an "ongoing realignment of the company's operations," but added that "the coronavirus pandemic has increased the pertinence of the measures announced".

In addition to the staff cuts the automaker said it was reviewing how to reduce the number of consultants it uses.

After Volvo Cars was bought by Geely from Ford in 2010, the iconic safety-focused Swedish brand has improved its image and accounts.

It has already made strides in the area of autonomous cars and has said it now wants to focus on the electrification of its vehicles.

Volvo Cars announced in 2017 that it would launch only electric or hybrid models from 2019 onwards, preparing for "an era beyond the internal combustion engine."