GM halts factory in southern Brazil amid shipping standoff

martes 12 de mayo de 2015 16:41 GYT

SAO PAULO May 12 (Reuters) - General Motors Co said it suspended production at a factory in southern Brazil on Tuesday due to a standoff with truckers shipping vehicles from the plant.

The carmaker said transportation companies Tegma and Transzero had stopped picking up the compact cars made at the plant in the southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul, forcing the factory to halt work.

Tegma declined to comment on the matter. A representative for Transzero said it had not stopped operations, adding that "if there is a stoppage, it is due to third-party drivers."

The factory is idling at a moment of spare capacity throughout the Brazilian auto market. Vehicle production fell 18 percent in the first four months of the year as exports stagnated and consumer confidence plunged with the economy edging closer to recession.

A loosely organized trucker protest disrupted shipping for two weeks in February across Brazil, especially in the southern and midwestern farm belts, as drivers demanded lower tolls and diesel prices. (Reporting by Alberto Alerigi Jr.; Editing by Alan Crosby)