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Russian Carmaker To Lay Off Half Its Workers

A Kia Sorento on the assembly line at the Izhavto plant.
IZHEVSK, Russia -- The Russian automaker Izhavto, which halted production in April, is planning to officially lay off half of its workers this month, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Izhavto human resources director Gennady Chernenko told journalists that the plant employs more than 5,000 people in Izhevsk, the capital of the western Russian republic of Udmurtia.

Chernenko said all laid off employees will receive severance pay equal to three months of their salaries.

Izhavto assembles such models as the Kia Spectra, Kia Sorento, and the VAZ-2104.

The assembly plant was to be bought by Russian carmaker AvtoVAZ but it later decided not to acquire Izhavto after having high debts and needing a bailout from the Russian government.

The plant assembled nearly 40,000 cars in 2008.