Russia's second-largest car and truck maker GAZ plans to stop car output from Friday, November 26 to December 5, the company's press service told Prime-Tass.

Alexei Barantsev, the general director of the plant, reportedly ordered the halt in production on Monday. The press service said the step was taken so that the plant could "optimize technological processes" and prepare equipment for production in 2005.

Production on the plant's first and second assembly lines, which produce GAZel and Sobol vans, and its third and fourth assembly lines, which produce GAZel and Sobol minibuses and flatbed vans, is to stop in the period from November 26 to November 30, the company told the news agency.

Sergei Lugovoi, the head of the company's press service, said the shutting down of vehicle production would not affect the company's output plan for November and December.

In January-November 2004, GAZ' output increased 0.8% on the year to 184,192 vehicles, with 51,410 cars, down 18.8%, and 132,782 vans, up 11.2%, including 30,727 minibuses, up 5.8% on the year.

In 2003, GAZ' exports amounted to about 36,000 vehicles and assembly kits, the Prime-Tass report said.