Brazil Slowdown Prompts Carmaker Renault Argentina to Cut Shifts

Renault Argentina SA, the country’s third-biggest car producer, is cutting back on shifts at its Cordoba plant after a drop in sales prompted by slowing demand in neighboring Brazil.

The maker of the Clio and Kangoo models will halt one of two production shifts today and both shifts tomorrow and on June 15 in part because of falling sales, according to an official at the company who isn’t authorized to speak publicly. The plant employs 1,800 people.

The Argentine auto industry has been hit by a drop in demand from Brazil, the country’s biggest trading partner. Vehicle exports fell 46 percent in May from a year earlier, according to a June 5 statement by the Argentine Automakers Association. Domestic sales of vehicles slid by 15 percent over the same period, while output dropped 24 percent.

South America’s second-biggest economy will expand 2 percent this year, according to Boris Segura, a Latin America analyst at Nomura Holdings Inc. Segura cut his earlier forecast of 3 percent due to import restrictions and lower investments. That would be the weakest growth since a 0.9 percent expansion in 2009.

Officials at the press office of Renault Argentina didn’t respond to a phone message and e-mail left by Bloomberg News.

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