India's Tata Motors announces further shutdowns

New Delhi  - Indian auto major Tata Motors plans to shut down its unit in Jamshedpur in eastern India for five days from November 25 due to a slump in sales, news reports said Sunday.

It would be the second time the Jamshedpur plant, the company's main manufacturing facility, is being shut down this month after it was closed for three days starting November 6.

The Tata Motors plant in Pune, in western Maharashtra state, and another plant in Lucknow, capital of northern Uttar Pradesh, have also been shut down for five days each in November, Indian Express newspaper reported.

In October, Tata Motors announced it was reducing its production target by 15 per cent due to slowing demand.

The company has asked 3000 temporary employees to report for work in a phased manner, IANS news agency reported.

Workers union leaders said they were cooperating with the management.

"We are with the company. We have suggested to the company management that they adopt measures to cut costs to meet the challenge of global meltdown," Bachcha Singh, spokesperson of Telco Workers Union in Jamshedpur was quoted as saying.

Company officials said a shortage of finance coupled with high interest rates were forcing customers to postpone purchases.

The company may end up producing 100,000 vehicles in the financial year 2008-2009 compared to 125,000 heavy vehicles the previous year, officials said.

In October, car sales in India recorded a fall of over 10 per cent compared to the same month of 2008. Industry analysts said with banks refusing to announce rate cuts, sales were expected to go down by 15 per cent in November. (dpa)

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