VW plans further cuts in German Passat production

Volkswagen plans further temporary halts in production of the Passat saloon car in Germany in the coming weeks as a result of the weak European market.

Europe's biggest car maker will halt assembly lines at the plant in Emden on February 8, February 15, February 22 and March 1, a spokesman told Reuters, tying in with an extended Christmas shutdown in December at the site which employs 7,600 workers

"We'll keep monitoring the market situation in Europe very closely," spokesman Georg Goericke said, declining to comment on whether the car maker was bracing for another round of disruptions in March and April.

VW makes about 1,200 vehicles a day at Emden, where workers assemble the Passat saloon, the Passat estate and the CC coupe. The company already halted production there between December 17-21, 2012.

Conversely, VW said a week earlier that it would add three Saturday shifts to its main Wolfsburg manufacturing plant to meet excess demand for the new version of its Golf hatchback and for the Tiguan compact SUV.

The additional shifts will enable VW to build an extra 2,000 Golfs, helping to fill roughly 100,000 orders for the top-selling model from Europe.

(Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Greg Mahlich)