GM has said that it plans to reduce output from its Russian JV with AvtoVAZ.

The JV facility is separate from the main AvtoVAZ facility at Togliatti and makes the Chevrolet Niva small SUV.

Local reports say that sales of the JV have fallen from 5000 cars in December 2007 to 3000 in December 2008.

The plant is now due to restart after the holiday break in mid-February and will switch to a single shift.

Some 400 workers are expected to be made redundant.

The GM plant in St Petersburg is also planning to switch over the three-day workweek, the DARS Consulting Agency said. The St Petersburg plant commenced production in November. Since then, Russia's car market has collapsed and some analysts say it could fall by as much as 50% this year.

Some analysts questioned the future of GM's JV with AvtoVAZ after Renault secured an alliance agreement with the Russian giant. However, indications since have been that the JV does indeed have a future.