Fiat will halt production for more than 20 days in December 2012 and January 2013 at its Melfi plant in Italy, a source privy to the matter told Reuters. The Italian carmaker will place around 5,000 workers in the Melfi plant on a temporary layoff scheme on Dec. 17, 2012 and from Dec. 21, 2012, to Jan. 13, 2013.
The Melfi plant builds the Punto subcompact. In October, union officials disclosed that Fiat intends to lengthen production breaks at its Pomigliano plant in Italy by two weeks from Nov. 26, 2012. The Pomigliano plant builds the Panda minicar. Fiat has placed workers from several of its Italian plants on temporary layoffs this year.
Fiat’s plants in Italy are currently operating at around 50 percent of its production capacity as it struggles against excessive capacity and dwindling demand in Europe. According to European Automobile Manufacturers' Association or ACEA, the car market in Western Europe has dropped 7.3 percent. Heavily affected countries include Greece, Portugal and Italy, where vehicle demand is heading for a 33-year low. In the 10 months of 2012, deliveries of Fiat Group vehicles in the EU and EFTA markets dropped 15.9 percent, ACEA said.