Russia Kamaz again halts assembly lines amid crisis

MOSCOW Thu Jan 29, 2009 5:16am EST

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MOSCOW Jan 29 (Reuters) - Russia's largest truck maker Kamaz (KMAZ.MM) is halting its main assembly line for the third time since the onset of the economic crisis, which has effectively frozen demand for trucks, it said on Thursday.

The suspension will last from Jan. 29 until February 12. In these two weeks the company plans to clear its stockpile of unsold trucks, said Vladimir Samoilov, spokesman for Kamaz, in which Germany's Daimler (DAIGn.DE) took a 10 percent stake last month.

Russia's construction firms and heavy industries, where Kamaz finds most of its customers, have been forced to scale back production and cancel projects amid the global financial crisis.

Kamaz idled its assembly lines for two weeks in November due to the crisis, and again in December for one month. The last suspension, during which the truck maker had also planned to clear its stock of trucks, ended only ten days ago on Jan. 19.

Daimler, seeking access to what it expects to become one of the largest truck markets in Europe, signed a deal to pay $250 million for the 10 percent stake on Dec. 12. The deal calls for a further $50 million to be paid in 2012 if Kamaz meets earnings and sales targets. [ID:nLC234157] (Reporting by Anton Doroshev; Writing by Simon Shuster; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)

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