Although the two car makers share very little in common, either in product line or market position, both GM and BMW have announced cutbacks in their European ranks today.

For GM, outsourcing over 5,000 jobs could help the company meet budgetary goals. BMW is likewise seeking to eliminate 5,600 jobs to bring expenses in line with revenues.

The German maker has already cut 2,500 temporary positions in Germany, and the projected cuts - 5,000 of which are to come from German ranks - will bring the year's total to 8,100 jobs cut, reports MSNBC. GM has already cut 12,000 jobs in Europe since 2004, and the cuts set for the coming year will bring that total to 17,136. Combined, the two companies will have reduced Europe's automotive workforce by over 25,000 jobs in the past 4 years.

GM's European cuts will initially focus on its English operations, where at least 660 jobs will be outsourced. GM's German Opel unit will lose 952 later this year, according to Automotive News. Other details of the cuts are not yet known. GM's projected outsourcing is still largely in the planning stage, but it's more a question of 'how' than of 'if' it will happen.

Once these cuts are made the two car giants hope that the reduced costs will balance more profitably against their revenues in the weakening economy of 2008. Whether these cuts will be deep enough, and whether the massive unemployment of Europe's automotive industry will have unintended consequences remains to be seen.