Associated Press

November 2, 2008 at 12:15 PM EST

BERLIN — The German automaker Porsche AG said Sunday it will slow production at its main plant for upgrade work at the end of the year and acknowledged that the global financial crisis had hit the auto industry hard.

Car makers across Europe are cutting production and jobs because of the economic crisis. German competitors Daimler AG and BMW AG said last month they would cut production, change deliveries or temporarily shut plants to accommodate a fall in demand.

Porsche spokesman Christian Dau said the company would stop work at its Stuttgart plant from Dec. 22 to Jan. 9, three days longer than previously planned. The plant is Porsche's main factory and employs about 1,000 workers.

“We always take a break during the holidays, and the extra days will allow for an equipment upgrade,” he said.

Volkswagen AG is also considering slowing production at the end of this year by closing for extra days around the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Porsche announced last week that it would increase its ownership stake in Volkswagen to around 70 per cent of the company from 42.6 per cent. Porsche wants to keep increasing its stake until it reaches 75 per cent of Volkswagen — Europe's biggest automaker by sales — some time in 2009.