Ford to close Spanish plant for 3 weeks

MADRID, Spain (AP) -- Ford Motor Co. says it will idle its plant in Valencia, Spain for 21 days because of slumping demand in a move that will affect over 5,000 workers.

Ford spokesman Jose Perez says the vehicle factory in Almussafes will close for nine days in January. Starting in February it will shut down one day every two weeks, for a total of 12 more days.

Perez told AP by telephone Tuesday another facility that makes engines will close for seven days, idling up to 450 workers. The measures stem from slack demand in European markets.

The Almussafes factory employs around 6,000 people.

Car manufacturing in Spain has been hit hard by the global economic crisis. Production in October was down 26 percent from last year, according to Anfac, a manufacturers' association.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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