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Lamborghini is to respond to the weakening market for top-end sports cars by halting production for two weeks between February and March.

Lamborghini’s production slowdown will affect around 300 members of its 1000-plus workforce, but it has already agreed the move with unions.

“We have established a decade of sales and profit increases, including another record year for deliveries in 2008, but we cannot maintain the previous levels of production during the downturn,” said Lamborghini president and CEO Stephan Winkelmann.

“Therefore, in agreement with the unions, we have decided to implement the option of a working time reduction. This provides a flexible reaction to market volatilities and helps to ensure production jobs in the long term,” he said.

The head of the union representing Italy’s car workers. Alberto Cocchi, commented, “The working time reduction has been agreed in order to safeguard jobs and to retain the growth realized by the company during the previous two years. Paying attention to personnel will be crucial for economic recovery.”

While both parties consider the move a prudent response to global economic conditions, Winkelmann emphasized that Lamborghini was not cutting back on R&D, its global brand expansion plans or investment.

“The company will not abandon its long-term strategy and is not making any reductions in its investment and growth plans,” he said. “We are committed to introducing one new product to the market each year.” [via]

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