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Ford To Suspend Operations In Russia

VSEVOLOZHSK, Russia -- The Ford car factory in the northeastern Russian city of Vsevolozhsk says it will suspend all operations for one month beginning on December 24.

Ford officials told RFE/RL's Russian Service today that the decision was made due to the abrupt decrease in new car sales in Russia and the upcoming holiday season.

In October, Ford sales in Russia decreased by 18 percent compared to last year.

The company's 2,200 workers will receive two-thirds of their salary during the monthlong shutdown, which will last until January 20.

Vsevolozhsk is 24 kilometers east of St. Petersburg; the Ford factory there makes the Ford Focus model.

Several international automobile companies are halting production for several weeks during the Christmas holiday, including Germany's Volkswagen.