GM cuts S.Korean output due to weak Chevy sales in Europe

SEOUL, April 9 Mon Apr 8, 2013 8:47pm EDT

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SEOUL, April 9 (Reuters) - General Motors Co plans to deepen cuts to output at one of its South Korean plants in April to cope with lacklustre sales in Europe, a company official said on Tuesday.

GM's South Korean unit will idle its plant in the southwestern city of Gunsan for nine days this month, up from six days in March, the official said.

The plant, one of the U.S. automaker's five factories in South Korea, produces the Chevrolet Cruze compact and Orlando sport utility vehicle and has an annual production capacity of 260,000 vehicles. GM's South Korean unit, one of its major manufacturing bases, produces most of the Chevys sold in Europe and more than 40 percent of those sold globally.

"We are adjusting factory output in response to a fall in orders for Europe exports," the official said, without elaborating on how much production would drop.

Sales of Chevrolet vehicles slumped 39 percent from January to February in Europe, underperforming a 10 percent fall in the broader passenger vehicle market amid the euro zone debt crisis and government austerity measures.

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