PSA Peugeot Citroën has said it will send its 3,500 employees at the Porto Real plant, in Rio de Janeiro state, on extended vacation from December 8 through January 7.

The local manager in Brazil, Jean Louis Orphelin, said that the company needs to reduce stocks after a 15% to 20% decline in vehicle sales amid the global financial crisis.

“We’d been operating at 100% of capacity and this decline in sales ended up boosting stocks,” said Orphelin, who spoke during the inauguration of the company’s 106th dealership, in Ribeirão Preto.

According to Orphelin, sales of the brands in November should be 12% to 13% lower than in the same period last year, while overall vehicle sales should fall 25%.

“Domestic sales in November should stand at between 160,000 and 165,000 new vehicles, versus a forecast prior to the crisis of 225,000 units,” said Orphelin. “As a result, total sales in 2008 should reach 2.72 million units, while the volume previously forecast ranged from 2.85 to 3 million units,” he added.