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KamAZ is suspending its main assembly line on Thursday as demand
KamAZ is suspending its main assembly line on Thursday as demand for its products has dried up amid the ongoing global financial crisis, the press office of Russia's largest truck maker said.

"The assembly line is being halted from today until February 12. On February 11, preparations will start for the assembly line to be re-launched and on February 12 the KamAZ workforce will return to their work places. The reason for the forced holiday is a lack of demand for vehicles and an absence of orders," the press office said.

In the conditions of the ongoing crisis, KamAZ, whose trucks have won the Dakar rally on eight occasions, including the latest 2009 rally that was held for the first time outside of Africa in Argentina and Chile, operates only when there is demand for vehicles, the press office said.

"We hope that this situation will not last for long and will improve as a result of the government's measures. Possibly, by the end of February, we'll see a more distinct outline of our future," the press office said.

KamAZ is halting production for the third time in the past three months. The truck maker's workforce was put on forced holidays on November 24-December 7 and on December 23-January 19.

In a similar move, a Ford factory near Russia's second city of St. Petersburg shut down its assembly lines on December 24.

The company earlier explained its decision to halt production late in December in connection with the New Year vacations, the ongoing global financial crisis and the necessity to cut output and costs due to an expected slump in 2009 sales in Russia.

The U.S. auto maker restarted its assembly lines in northwest Russia on January 21.


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