As a result of ongoing tensions with the Ukraine and a faltering economy, General Motors has decided to reduce production at its St. Peteresburg plant in Russia, Reuters reports. The St. Peteresburg plant, which was built in 2008, produces the Chevrolet Cruze, Opel Astra and Chevrolet Trailblazer for Russia. Employees at the plant will only work four days in both August and September and eight in October.
So this year, car and light truck sales slid 10 percent compared to the same time period a year earlier. Chevrolet sales have totaled 73,749 vehicles, while Opel has also fallen by 17 percent to 38,440 units. Russians are putting off larger purchases due to a slowing economy and sanctions over the country from the west.
“In view of the current business situation in Russia and the lower sales volumes since the start of the year, we are taking a close look at our plans. As part of this, we are also reviewing the timing of our expansion plans at the GM Auto Plant in St Petersburg,” a GM spokesperson said.
GM had previously planned to expand the $300 million plant and add new models to its production line, which may now be called off or rescheduled. The automaker also outlined plans in 2012 to raise production capacity at the plant to 230,000 vehicles a year by 2015.