Fiat to shift production to the US, Poland and Serbia, if Italy plans fail

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 2, 2010

The countries that would benefit if the uncooperative unions in Italy ruin Fiat S.p.A.’s plans to expand production volumes are the US, Poland and Serbia. Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said that he will consider other production locations if he fails to negotiate work rules that are more efficient for Fiat’s Italian assembly plants.

Marchionne told analysts on October 21 that its vehicles that are intended for western Europe need a production facility and that it has other plants that could replace it. Last April, Fiat revealed a new plan to expand car production in Italy from 650,000 units in 2009 to 1.4 million units in 2014.

However, Marchionne seeks support from the union to increase the efficiency of its production. This entails an 18-shift workweek instead of the 10-shift week that it currently has.

Marchionne has yet to discuss options if this plan (dubbed Fabbrica Italia or Italian factory) doesn’t receive complete support from the union.

According to sources, Fiat is considering raising the annual capacity of its assembly plant in Tychy, Poland, from 606,000 units built last year to 780,000 units.

Fiat is also thinking about doubling the annual output of its Serbian joint venture to 400,000 units and shifting the production of a future Lancia/Chrysler compact sedan and the Alfa Romeo Giulia to Chrysler plants in the US. [via autonews - sub. required]

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