Porsche hit as sports car sales fall in wake of stock market plunge

The West German luxury sports car manufacturer Porsche AG announced plans Friday to cut production because of shrinking US sales. The move will result in a ``short time'' week for employees until the market improves. The automaker did not know how many workers would be affected.

US sales of the high-speed luxury sports cars account for about 60 percent of all Porsche automobiles sold, company spokesman Uwe Brodbeck told the Associated Press.

But sales dropped dramatically last month, about 30 percent in the United States alone, because of the stock market crisis and the fall of the dollar, he said.

Mr. Brodbeck said the company decided to reduce the annual production by a total of 7,300 cars.

The output of high-priced six- and eight-cylinder models will be cut by 4,900 cars, while the production of the cheaper four-cylinder models will drop by 2,400 units, Brodbeck said.

The automaker also plans price increases beginning Dec. 1 for models sold in the United States. Further details were not available.

Negotiations between the automaker's directors and the workers' council were scheduled for today to decide how and when short-time work will be brought on. Because of regulations in West German law, the company cannot introduce short-time work before January, Brodbeck said.

Porsche plans to return production to normal levels as soon as the market improves, he said.

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