General Motors' South Korean unit plans temporarily to halt production at its plants this month because of a sharp drop in demand.

"The company will temporarily suspend production this month," GM Daewoo Auto and Technology, spokesman Kim Young-Soo told Agence France-Presse (AFP), but would not say for how many days the plants would be idled.

The Yonhap news agency had reported GM-Daewoo would close its compact car assembly line for eight days and a plant making SUVs and sedans for 22 days.

GM-DAT, as it is known, makes most of the Chevrolet models sold here in Europe. They are badged Daewoo in Korea and also sold as Holdens in Australia and New Zealand. One SUV line is also badged Opel and Vauxhall for Europe and the small Kalos is also sold under a variety of brand names in North America.

GM Daewoo's vehicle sales plunged 50.5% year-on-year in January to 45,842 vehicles, AFP noted.

The automaker, the country's third-largest carmaker, acquired by GM in 2002, also shut down its plants for up to two weeks last December.