December 2, 2015 / 1:31 PM / 2 years ago

VW's Skoda says skipping extra weekend shifts at year-end but no production cuts

PRAGUE (Reuters) - VW’s Skoda, whose car sales have fallen recently, said on Wednesday that after consideration it will not introduce additional weekend shifts in December but it was not cutting production.

Skoda's logo is seen on a car after a presentation of the company's annual results in Mlada Boleslav March 20, 2013. REUTERS/David W Cerny

“Having considered extra weekend shifts towards the end of the year, Skoda Auto has decided that these measures will not be necessary,” Skoda said in an emailed statement to Reuters. “This is not about production cuts; production will be going ahead according to plan.”

The Czech carmaker’s statement was in response to questions about a report in newspaper Mlada Fronta Dnes. Citing unnamed sources, the paper said the Czech Republic’s biggest exporter would reduce output at the end of the year by cutting work shifts and foregoing Saturday shifts introduced in previous years.

The newspaper said the measures were a response to slowing markets in Europe and would include cutting more than three shifts on the Fabia and Rapid model production lines in December, from November schedules.

In its statement, Skoda said its decision not to increase the number of year-end shifts was not related to the emissions scandal at its parent group Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE).

Skoda sold more than 1 million cars for the first time in 2014. But monthly sales have fallen recently, hit by slipping deliveries in Russia and eastern Europe. Skoda’s deliveries totaled 879,900 cars in the January-October period.

Reporting by Jason Hovet; Editing by Jason Neely and Susan Fenton

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