KIA Motors is cutting Ceed production at its Slovak plant from two shifts to one to offset falling demand amid the global economic downturn.

“As of Monday, we will cut production to one six-hour shift for two weeks, plant spokesman Dusan Dvorak told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

“After two weeks, we will look at demand and decide whether to keep one shift or return to two shifts,” he added.

Kia, which launched production in Slovakia in 2006, had already cut shifts from eight to six hours from the beginning of 2009.

PSA Peugeot Citroen has decided to cut 190 jobs in its Slovak plant this year, while Volkswagen has introduced flexible working hours and increased the severance package for employees who decide to leave its Slovak factory on their own.

At the end of 2008, Slovak car production fell for three consecutive months, shedding 35.7% year on year in December after a 16.4% fall in November.

The three Slovak-based car makers have said they expected output to fall by up to 25% this year.