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VW Halts Passat Production to Adapt to Lower European Demand

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Oct. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Volkswagen AG, Europe’s biggest carmaker, halted production of the Passat sedan at a German factory for two days to adapt to slower demand in Europe.

“Passat production had surpassed the planned output,” so work was suspended at the Emden plant yesterday and today, Christoph Adomat, a VW spokesman in Wolfsburg, said by phone. “We do regularly adapt our production to market demand.”

VW’s sales in Europe, including the namesake brand as well as Seat and Audi, rose 0.5 percent in the first eight months of the year as industry sales fell 6.6 percent, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association. Auto sales on the continent will probably shrink 7 percent this year, hitting the lowest level in 17 years, according to the trade group.

Audi, VW’s premium brand, halted production this week at its factory in Neckarsulm where A6, A7 and A8 sedans are manufactured.

“We are acting with foresight as the demand for higher-end cars especially in southern Europe is slowing,” Susanne Brieu, Audi spokeswoman, said today by phone.

Audi said yesterday that September sales in China advanced 20 percent to 35,512 vehicles. In the first nine months, sales were up 31 percent in the country. Audi is scheduled to release global delivery figures on Oct. 8.

Handelsblatt reported the Passat production halt yesterday.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christian Wuestner in Berlin at cwuestner@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chad Thomas at cthomas16@bloomberg.net