MADRID, Spain (AP) -- German-owned automaker SEAT on Tuesday said it plans temporary layoffs for 5,300 workers in Spain in the first half of next year because of falling sales.
Spokeswoman Maria Antonia Fontiverio said the company would halt production on different lines for varying amounts of time between Feb. 2 and June 30.
"SEAT will adjust production at the Martorell plant in the first half of 2009 given the persistent, widespread fall in markets, especially in Spain," SEAT said in a statement.
Sales for SEAT, which is owned by Volkswagen AG, fell 24 percent to some 97,000 vehicles in the first 11 months of this year.
Car manufacturers in general reported a 50 percent drop in sales last month alone in Spain.
Ford and General Motors have also announced job and production cuts in Spain in recent weeks.
After posting years of strong growth, Spain's economy is ailing, mainly because of a collapse in the construction industry. The government has announced a euro800 million ($1 billion) stimulus package for the auto industry, which accounts for 20 percent of exports.