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Car production in ČR up 10% at end-Sept but lay offs may occur

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Prague, Oct 10 (CTK) – Czech car makers have produced 744,759 units in
Jan-Sept 2008, which is by 9.6 percent more against last year, yet crisis
and laying off up to 3,000 staff is talked about, the Automotive Industry
Association (SAP) director Antonin Sipek said at a press conference Friday.

Representatives of the automotive industry, which is mainly composed of
suppliers of Czech and foreign car makers, expect a four percent growth,
around one million cars, for the whole 2008 period.

SAP will publish more detailed information about this year’s production
next week.

Mild growth should continue even in the next year, mainly because of the
Hyundai car maker’s launching of production.

This year’s sales in the whole segment will be around Kc640bn, same as in
2007, Sipek estimated.

SAP representatives expect laying off staff towards the end of the year.

“We will lay off only employees we can spare, not designers and
technicians, who will guarantee our future growth”, said Brano Group
general director Pavel Juricek.

SAP president Martin Jahn added that it was important for companies to
survive financially now, which was also a message he sent to the trade
unionists ahead of the collective bargaining process.

Significantly lower demand in the countries of Western Europe and the USA
is behind the crisis in the automotive industry.

SAP expects the shortfall in the West to continue in the next year as well,
while Central Europe might face stagnation.

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