Suzuki Idles Magyar Plants due to Russian Gas Restrictions
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According to Reuters, Suzuki halted production on Wednesday of its Hungarian plant due to the gas shortage, with all operation set to be restarted on Monday. Suzuki spokeswoman Viktoria Ruska explained the decision was mostly imposed by Hungary's restrictions on industrial users of gas.
Suzuki is currently one of the largest carmakers in the region, with its Esztergom production facility employing more than 5000 workers. The plant started operations in October,1992 and reached a cumulative production volume of nearly 850,000 units in 2005. The factory currently has an annual production capacity of 300,000 vehicles per year. Magyar Suzuki manufactures several models, including Suzuki Splash, Suzuki Ignis, the second generation Suzuki Swift, Fiat Sedici and Subaru Justy.
Back in December, the Magyar division of Suzuki announced a two-shift production plan for several days, in order to help the parent company align its offering with the market demand. In addition, it said that it plans to offer a two-month payment to all employees who agree to voluntarily leave the company by December 18, in order to comply with the initial plan to cut one of the three shifts. This meant that approximately one fifth of Magyar Suzuki's total workforce had to leave the company, a fact that underlined Suzuki's efforts to counteract the economic downturn.
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