The boom times for Russia's heavy truck makers have well and truly ended as the energy sector induced economic bonanza has subsided and the international financial crisis has hit.
Russia's largest freight truck producer, Kamaz, plans to halt its main assembly line for a month starting from January 19. Workers will be on forced vacation on two-thirds pay.
In October the company switched to a four day week, and shortly afterwards asked most of its workers to take a two-week vacation from November 24. Some 3,000 staff have been layed off.
Despite the crisis, the Volvo Truck assembly plant in Kaluga plans to start series production next month, as planned. The plant is currently trialling production of Volvo and Renault trucks.
The plant is slated to produce nearly 10,000 Volvo and 5,000 Renault trucks a year to meet demand for heavy-duty trucks in Russia and the CIS. The new models include the Volvo FH/FM/FL and FE and the Renault Premium and Kerax.
However, analysts say that volumes may be much lower than projected for 2009.