The situation at German carmaker Volkswagen is serious, a senior executive said, although he denied a report that the company could cut an extra 10,000 jobs at its core VW brand.
VW personnel chief Horst Neumann said he had not told workers' representatives that planned job cuts could be extended, as was reported by news magazine Spiegel.
"I have never said such a thing," he said via a VW spokesman late on Saturday in response to questions from Reuters.
"The situation at VW is serious, but there is no reason to panic, and certainly no reason to create panic."
VW said in February that up to 20,000 German jobs could be affected by a three-year restructuring program at its passenger car business.
Spiegel reported an additional 10,000 jobs could be at risk because high costs meant production of the next generation Golf model could be shifted out of Germany's Wolfsburg plant.
Chief Executive Bernd Pischetsrieder said in February he had no plans to shut any plants or cancel VW's in-house wage agreement that protects the 100,000 highly-paid workers at its six western German plants from layoffs through the end of 2011.
The carmaker had already promised to make thousands of German jobs redundant, but only through early retirement and voluntary termination packages that could cost Volkswagen hundreds of millions of euros in restructuring charges.
Spiegel said workers in Wolfsburg could expect no relief from production of the planned new Scirocco, because the board had decided to base production in Portugal for cost reasons.
Separately, trade magazine Automobilwoche said Volkswagen was considering whether production of the Fox small car could be shifted from Brazil to Europe, given the strong appreciation in the Brazilian real.
VW brand chief Wolfgang Bernhard was also planning to cut the price of the next generation Polo by up to 2,000 euros, Automobilwoche said, citing VW sources, thanks to lower production costs.