Dacia closes gates again tomorrow, for a fortnight, as the auto market strives to revive its enginesPublish date: 25-01-2009
Romania's biggest car maker Dacia, owned by France's Renault, announced today it would halt production between January 26 and February 8, as the global and especially the national auto market continues its steep collapse.
Activity at the car maker's plants will be resumed on February 9 and employees will be sent home in technical unemployment with 85 percent of the gross salaries in their pockets, according to the Dacia collective labor contract on 2008.
Dacia officials added that 300 contracts on an undetermined period of time that will come to a close at the end of January will not be renewed. At the end of last year the same measure was taken for as many as 620 people.
The release sent by the company depicts that the Romanian new car market is practically overrun by second-hand car imports. Thus, the number of registrations of second-hand imports rose in December 2008 by 471 percent year-on-year, reaching 54,712 out of the total 300,891 cars registered throughout the year. This translates into three second-hand cars registered for each new vehicle sold in Romania starting with November 2008, according to Dacia representatives.
The Dacia plant in Mioveni closed gates several times during recent months, in response to the market fall. Employees stayed home on October 30 and 31, on November 13 and 14, between November 20 and December 7, December 11 and January 11.
The company announced on January 21 that it plans to cut production from 1,360 to 1,085 cars daily and to reduce the investment budget, from 250 to 150 million euros. On the same day, employees set up a protest to draw attention upon their cause, asking authorities to help the car making industry, severely affected by the economic crisis.
The hold-ups affected the main car maker's suppliers. About 230 employees of the wires and cables producer Leoni from Mioveni will lose their jobs as the owners decided to shut down the plant by June 2009 on lack of demands. The unit in Pitesti will keep functioning, although the production level will be adjusted and the work force will be temporarily reduced.
According to leaders of the Dacia Automobile trade union (SAD), Dacia suppliers have to adjust their schedule in reply of the car maker's moves.
Car production in Romania fell more than 78 percent in December last year over the similar month in the previous one following the economic crisis, a release from the automobile producers and importers association (APIA) reads.
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