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Russia’s automobile manufacturers begin layoffs campaign

September 23, 2014, 11:49 UTC+3 SAMARA

ussia’s automotive industry leader AvtoVAZ will downsize over 2,000 people

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© ITAR-TASS/Andrei Kholmov

SAMARA, September 23. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s automotive industry leader AvtoVAZ has launched a layoffs campaign. The staff of managers, specialists and office workers will be downsized by 2,200.

“The company’s divisions have drafted new staff charts. The positions to be cut and the names of employees to get dismissal notices will be decided accordingly,” the chief of the trade union local, Sergey Zaitsev said.

At the end of December 2013 AvtoVAZ had a workforce of 65,800 (including 50.6% of blue collar workers). Toward the end of 2014 the personnel is expected to shrink to 53,000. The current personnel optimization is expected to slash costs.

According to the Association of European Businesses Russia’s automotive market slumped 12.1% in January-August 2014. A total of 1,582 million new cars were sold in that time - 217,000 less than in January-August 2013. The production of cars reduced by 4.6% in contrast to the same period last year to 1.2 million. The sales of AvtoVAZ’s Lada cars plummeted by 32% in August in annual terms.

Russia’s other automobile manufacturers have been reducing personnel, too. The General Motors plant in St. Petersburg will be working one shift a day instead of three as of October 1. Ford in Vsevolzhsk, the Leningrad Region, and Volkswagen, in the Kaluga Region, too, have declared they will be working shorter hours.

There has been a slump in the market of many popular makes and models. In August alone Chevrolet sales were down by 50%, Ford, by 57%, Daewoo, by 58%, Suzuki, by 58% and Peugeot and Geely, by 56%

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