GM cuts production in Russia as market slump continues

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MOSCOW (Reuters) -- General Motors Co. said it will reduce production at its plant near St. Petersburg, Russia, citing a continued slowdown of the country's auto market.

The plant, which makes Chevrolet Cruze, Opel Astra, and Chevrolet Trailblazer models, will only work four days in August and four in September, extending to eight in October, a company spokesman said today.

Car sales have faltered in Russia this year as economic growth has slowed, causing people to put off large purchases. Consumer sentiment has come under further pressure because of Western sanctions over the crisis in Ukraine.

The downturn in Russia's car market gathered pace in July, with sales sliding 23 percent year-on-year after a 17 percent fall in the previous month, according to the Association of European Businesses (AEB) lobby group.

AEB data showed that sales of Chevrolet cars fell 45 percent to 8,457 units in July, year-on-year, while Opel sales tumbled 25 percent to 4,927 vehicles, according to AEB data.

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