“MAN wants to react to weak demand and not produce for stockpiling. We have to adjust to the market situation,” MAN spokesman Stefan Straub told DPA news wire, confirming a report by the Süddeutsche Zeitung on Saturday.
From Monday, some 15,000 workers at the two factories and administrative centres will be sent home with full pay, said Straub, although they will have to forgo some holiday and overtime rights. Production could also cease for three weeks after Christmas, he said.
The German truck industry has been suffering from the effects of the European debt crisis. With economies across Europe sluggish, fewer goods are transported by road and across the continent, and demand for lorries has been falling for nine consecutive months.
As a result, the German trucking industry has shrunk by 10.7 percent since January this year.
MAN's operating profits for the first nine months of this year have halved compared to 2011 and the Munich-based company has already announced it will not be taking on any new employees for the time being.
In October Daimler stopped production for five days at its factory in Wörth near Karlsruhe in southwestern Germany, sending 6,000 workers home.