Almost half of China's carmakers are planning to cut salaries and layoff employees in 2009 due to the market downturn, a survey has said.

Foreseeing a further stagnation in auto sales in the first half of 2009, 71.4% of the domestically-listed auto companies polled said they will reduce their production volume while 42.9% are considering pay cuts and layoffs, said the survey conducted by Security Times.

About 70% of the carmakers believed that the diving demand amid the weakening economy around the globe would deal a heavy blow to the market in 2009, as shrinking exports and increasing costs will drag down sales. One bright spot was that respondents expected to see raw material prices fall in 2009.