French auto giant Renault said on Friday it was cutting outut at its Moscow plant because sales had fallen sharply in the current global slowdown.
“Following a fall of 40 percent in the Russian auto market in the first quarter, Renault saw its own sales fall 38 percent,” the company said, noting that its cheap Logan brand was especially affected by the downturn.
Accordingly, “Renault production in Russia has to be adapted to the market situation,” it said.
“From May 1, the Avtoframos plant (in Moscow) will be reduced to two shifts from three now,” it said, adding that there would be no reduction of the staff.
Avtoframos, a joint venture between Renault and Moscow city, makes the Logan brand which has enjoyed considerable success in recent years in Russia.
Renault also holds a 25-percent stake in Russia’s largest car manufacturer AvtoVAZ, maker of the Lada, which is reportedly also cutting its output.
The Russian car industry, which until last year had excited investors as the fastest growing car market in Europe, has been hit by a plunge in demand as Russian consumers tighten their belts amid the economic crisis.