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    Two Chinese auto plants run by Volkswagen through joint ventures are planning to partly suspend production lines to conduct maintenance work, state television reported last weekend.

    The news comes amid a huge slump in sales of vehicles in China, the world’s second-largest vehicle market after the United States.


    China’s CCTV said in its midday bulletin that FAW-Volkswagen Automobile Co plans to suspend part of its production at a plant in Changchun, the capital of Jilin province in northeastern China, at the end of the year to carry out maintenance.

    Shanghai Volkswagen Automotive Co will also suspend work at its production line for half a month from mid-Dec to early Jan, the Beijing News Daily reported.


    The reports did not give details and calls to Volkswagen’s office in Beijing and the two joint venture companies rang unanswered on Sun.

    Volkswagen sold about 910,000 vehicles to customers in China in 2007.

    Vehicle sales in China fell 16% in Nov – a sharp reverse for China’s automakers, which saw sales grow by 18.5% in 2007. Global automakers were counting on fast-growing Chinese sales to help drive revenue growth as sales elsewhere weakened.

    Industry Minister Li Yizhong said last Fri that Beijing is considering ways to revive sales including cutting taxes, offering low-interest loans or forcing older vehicles off the road. – AP


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