Daimler to halt output at 2 key plants 4 weeks

*Daimler halts output at two plants four weeks-works council *Daimler shares fall more than 10 percent

(Rewrites with works council and plant spokeswomen)

FRANKFURT, Oct 27 (Reuters) – German carmaker Daimler (DAIGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) will stop year-end production at two big German plants for four weeks, doubling the normal holiday stoppages given a sharp drop in demand, its works council said on Monday.

The Sindelfingen plant near Stuttgart that makes Mercedes-Benz C-, E- and S-Class models will shut down from Dec. 12 and reopen on Jan. 12, a works council spokeswoman said.

The Untertuerkheim motor and transmission plant will also halt most output from Dec. 15 to Jan. 12, a plant spokeswoman said.

Mercedes-Benz was not immediately available for comment.

On Sunday, Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung said the carmaker had imposed a five-week Christmas break for its 36,000 workers at Sindelfingen. Workers normally get only two to three weeks off during the holiday season.

The world’s second-biggest premium carmaker last week lowered its full-year revenue and profit forecast after third-quarter operating profit plunged by two-thirds.

Daimler shares, which have already lost two-thirds of their value so far this year, were trading 12.1 percent lower at 19.69 euros at 1001 GMT, underperforming European auto shares and the broader German blue-chip index .GDAXI.

General Motors Corp’S (GM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) European arm Opel, as well as BMW (BMWG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Volkswagen (VOWG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) units Seat and Skoda have said they plan to cut production as the financial crisis crimps consumer spending. (Reporting by Marilyn Gerlach; Additional reporting by Hendrik Sackmann in Stuttgart; Editing by Quentin Bryar)

Mon Oct 27, 2008 6:33am EDT

Source: Reuters

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