U.S. car giants General Motors and Ford suspended operations on their production lines in Russia yesterday as the deepening economic crisis squeezes Russian consumers’ demand for new cars.

“Having carefully studied the state of the Russian car market and the extent of reduction in the demand from the creditworthy population, we have decided not to force a production increase at our Russian plant this year,” said Chris Gubbey, GM Russia’s president. The company said no major layoffs would occur among the plant’s 1,000 employees, though it was unclear whether that might signal smaller-scale cutbacks.

The financial crisis has caused car loans to all but dry up in what was Europe’s most promising car market.