A General Motors' Russian joint venture plans to reduce production and lay off workers this year.

Car sales in the country could drop by as much as 25-50% in 2009, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

GM-AvtoVAZ plans to lay off about 400 employees as a result of its decision to reduce output and switch to a one-shift schedule, Prime-Tass reported. The automaker did not detail how much it intended to reduce production. Output last year dipped 0.7% to 54,654 units.

The plant makes Chevrolet Niva models.