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General Motors and Ford Suspend Operations in Russia

General Motors Corporation (GM) and Ford Motor Company have both temporarily shut down automaking operations in Russia. According to the Associated Press (AP), GM will close its plant in St. Petersburg from today through August 31 due to poor demand. "Having carefully studied the state of the Russian car market and the degree of reduction in the demand from the creditworthy population, we took the decision not to force this year an increase in production volumes at our Russian plant," says Chris Gubbey, president of GM Russia, in a statement. Reuters says 986 people are employed by GM at the facility, which opened last year, and those workers will be paid two-thirds of their regular pay during the work stoppage. At the same time, Russia's state-run ITAR-TASS news agency reports that Ford will shut down production at its factory in Vsevolozhsk from today through July 9 due to "an unfavorable situation on the market," with a previously scheduled annual vacation shutdown still planned from July 20 through August 9.

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