The assembly line at Nissan car plant in St. Petersburg.(RIA Novosti / Igor Samoilov)From February 1, 2013 workers at Nissan facilities in St. Petersburg will be on a shortened production week because of the slowing car market.The company stressed that “the management doesn’t have any intentions to shorten shifts at the plant.” “Part of the staff will be involved in other activities or undergo training. The workers that won’t be involved in these activities will receive their salaries according to Russian legislation,” a Nissan representative added.This year the booming Russian car market is expected to stabilize, according to a report from PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC). The 10 – 12 years of market growth may be changing due to the high cost of a car ownership in Russia beginning to bite. In 2012 the Russian car market surpassed the boldest mar
ket expectations, having shown a 10% year on year growth. That was the third fastest growth pace in the world, with Japan growing 26% and the USA – 13% in 2012. In absolute figures, 2.76mn cars were sold in Russia last year, which places the country the second in the European market after Germany. The euro crisis has impacted the market and set alarm bells ringing with Opel saying it would close its second biggest German facility at Bochum as early as 2014, while previously it intended to do so in 2016.“The situation in European car market remains catastrophic. Thinking things will recover in the near future means cheating oneself,” says Stephen Girsky, president of General Motors in Europe.