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VW not to halt production in China
Updated: 2008-12-15 09:47

BEIJING -- Spokesmen of Volkswagen's two joint-venture auto plants in China on Sunday denied the recent reports that they were suspending production.

There were reports that two auto plants, FAW-Volkswagen Automobile Co., based in northeastern Jilin Province, and Shanghai Volkswagen Automobile Co., were planning to partly suspend production lines to conduct maintenance work.

A public relations manager of the Shanghai company told Xinhua in a telephone interview the company had accomplished its 2008 sales goal in November and postponed the maintenance work to the end of the year as the production lines had been operating at full capacity to meet market demand. During the maintenance period, workers would take turns on vacation.

Su Jingxue, chief of the public relations office of FAW-Volkswagen, said production was "normal" and the company would not suspend production even at the end of the year as usual.

Usually, the company would conduct maintenance work at the end of a year and upgrade production lines for new models. This had absolutely nothing with the financial crisis, he said.

Chinese auto plants spend one or two weeks every year for regular maintenance of production lines. Factories would carry out the work during the summer in the southern region and at the end of a year in the north.

Zhu Yiping, an official with China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), said from January to November, auto makers in the country produced about 8.7 million automobiles and sold more than 8.6 million. The inventory was at a reasonable level.

But he acknowledged some companies had begun reducing production as sales were declining.

According to CAAM statistics, during the past eleven months, FAW-Volkswagen sold 467,343 automobiles in China and Shanghai Volkswagen 442,937. The growth in sales of both companies was higher than the industry's average.