Chrysler halts engine output due to sluggish U.S. sales of the Fiat 500

Article by Christian A., on November 16, 2011

Chrysler Group has halted production of the 1.4-liter engine this month due to the sluggish U.S. sales of the Fiat 500, the subcompact that the engine runs, Tom Zimmerman, the plant's unit chairman for UAW Local 723, revealed. At least 100 of around 400 hourly workers at the company's Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance Plant in Dundee, Mich., were laid off earlier this month.

Zimmerman further stated that there is still no information as to when the employees could get their jobs back. Spokesperson Jodi Tinson for Chrysler said that the plant "is moderating its schedule to adjust for the current bank of engines."

She contested Zimmerman's statistics, however, stating that around 30 employees at the plant are currently laid off while another 35 are "redeployed" to other parts of the facility. Internal Chrysler documents dated November 1, which Automotive News had obtained, reveal that the company has a 184-day supply of Fiat 500 coupes and cabrios available to dealers, some of whom had sold as few as 49 units from the launch in March and October 31.

Other dealers have sold as many as 370 units. Tinson further disclosed that the company had a 140-day supply at the end of October, adding that it is "very pleased" with the progress made with the launch of the Fiat brand in North America.

Based on the initial sales figures, the vehicle's strongest U.S. markets so far are in California and the Southeast, while the weakest regional markets are in the Midwest. The return of Fiat to the North American market after almost 30 years has been sluggish and consistently behind schedule.

The first dealers of the brand were delayed for several months as they secured local approvals to erect compulsory stand-alone stores. These dealers bid for the rights to sell the 500 and subsequent Fiat and potentially, the Alfa Romeo vehicles. The first dealerships of the brand did not open until March. Currently, there are 130 stores.

If you liked the article, share on:

Comments

Recommended

We’re willing to bet that the Bentley Bentayga is not the first thing that comes to mind for most people who are into off-roading and outdoor activities. It just doesn’t...
by - November 23, 2017
The other day, it was confirmed that Volvo will finally bring the XC40 to US soil, where it will first make an appearance at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show....
by - November 23, 2017
There is no question that the new BMW M5 (F90) high performance sports sedan is more powerful, faster and more enticing than the previous model. But for interested customers in...
by - November 23, 2017
Following the Tesla Roadster’s electrifying revelation on Thursday, Musk’s highly ambitious goals have skyrocketed when he tweeted about his future plans for the new sports car. Well, kind of. The...
by - November 23, 2017
Earlier in November at the 2017 SEMA Show in Vegas is when Hennessey unwrapped the Venom F5 to all of us. But it was actually first introduced as a concept...
by - November 22, 2017
Facebook

Youtube Channel

Tip Us
Do you have a tip for us?
Did you film an important event?
Contact us
Newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter!
Subscribe
Galleries