Automaker DaimlerChrysler (DCX) said Tuesday that it would reduce administrative staff by 20 percent over three years, cutting 6,000 jobs and saving some $1.2 billion a year in a bid to make the company more competitive and profitable.

The company said in a statement that the cuts would come in such areas as accounting, auditing, personnel and strategic planning.

The new structure "should improve the company's competitiveness and make further profitable growth possible," DaimlerChrysler said. "The model is based on further integration of the company, focusing operating areas completely on their core functions and advancing cooperation."

The announcement came after a board meeting in Stuttgart.

At the management level, the cuts would amount to 30 percent of personnel, the statement said. The announcement came after a board meeting in Stuttgart.

The company also said it would reorganize the oversight of its commercial vehicles division, saying that it would be renamed the truck group and subdivided into a North American division including its Freightliner, Sterling and Thomas Built lines, and a Europe-Latin America division including Mercedes-Benz trucks.

Meanwhile, financial results from the former commercial vehicles division bus and van businesses would now be reported separately.

In another move, the company said its research and development activities and Mercedes division vehicle development would be under the combined oversight of Thomas Weber, a member of the company's top management board.

The company noted that the management board itself has shrunk from 12 to nine members with already-announced changes including new CEO Dieter Zetsche's decision to combine his duties with running the company's Mercedes group.

The DaimlerChrysler announcement came a day after Ford Motor Co., (F) the second biggest U.S. automaker, said it was cutting up to 30,000 jobs and closing 14 facilities by 2012. Ford had previously indicated it was cutting about 4,000 salaried positions by the end of the quarter.

General Motors Corp., (GM) the world's biggest automaker, announced a restructuring plan in November that will shave its work force by 30,000 and close 12 North American facilities.