, MADRID, Oct 22 – Seat, the ailing Spanish subsidiary of German auto giant Volkswagen, unveiled a new temporary layoff plan Friday that would affect 700 workers from its 7,500-strong plant at Martorell near Barcelona.
Workers over the age of 53 and those who do no qualify for jobless benefits will be excluded from the temporary layoffs, which will take place between November 8 and June 30, 2011, the company said in a statement.
This is the fifth temporary layoff plan at Seat\’s plant at Martorell since the company announced in 2008 that it would reduce production at the plant due to the downturn in demand for new cars due to the global economic downturn.
Spain\’s auto manufacturing sector is the third-biggest in Europe, although it has no national automaker besides Seat, which is now owned by Germany\’s Volkswagen.
It has been hit hard by a fall in demand by a fall in demand in Spain since the country was plunged into its worst recession in decades during the second half of 2008 due to the collapse of a property bubble.
New car sales in Spain plunged 26.9 percent in September over the same time last year to 56,595 units, the third straight monthly decline, according to data from automakers\’ association Anfac.