Shares in Volkswagen fell on Tuesday as Volkswagen said that it is planning to stop production at three key plants for a longer than usual four days over the Easter break.


The news has heightened fears that the new fifth generation Golf is proving to be a slow seller in the face of tough competition from Opel’s Astra, which is being pre-sold with customer incentives in Germany prior to launch.


Reuters reported that Volkswagen said late on Monday that it would shut its three biggest German car factories for four days over Easter in April in order to concentrate the holiday claims of employees.


Volkswagen said earlier this month that it was already offering incentives to buyers of the new Golf but Reuters reported that company officials are maintaining that the planned Easter plant shutdowns do not necessarily mean lower output for the year as a whole. But that has not reassured investors and the share price has suffered on Tuesday.


“Given market conditions the expectations for the new Golf were simply too high,” said Michael Punzet, analyst at Landesbank Rheinland-Pfalz quoted by Reuters, adding, however, that the market had probably overreacted to a recent flurry of negative headlines.


Reuters says that VW shares have underperformed European rivals by about 15 percent since the company revealed its new Golf in late August of last year.