Sources say that Fiat has plans to create a new company to operate a key factory near Naples that will soon produce the new generation of the Panda, Europe's best-selling small car. They also said that Fiat will establish the company to run the Pomigliano d'Arco plant in central Italy if workers choose to reject a deal that to revise working practices in order to improve the factory's efficiency.
Fiat has plans to invest 700 million euros in the plant to move Panda production from Tychy in Poland.
This factory has a record of labor unrest and has the worst productivity of all five of the company's Italian plants. This survey also takes into account the slow demand for the Alfa Romeo models it is currently building.
CEO Sergio Marchionne has gotten approval from four of the factory's five unions for a deal that gives the management greater flexibility in the number and type of working shifts as well as limits on strikes and such benefits as sick days.
The deal will be decided by Pomigliano's 5,133 workers who voted last Tuesday. Fiat sources said that if less than 80% of the workers fail to vote for the agreement, then the carmaker could create a new company to run the plant. [via autonews]