Fiat to stop production at Melfi, Italy plant for over 20 days

Article by Anita Panait, on November 22, 2012

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.

Latest Fiat 500 Abarth is consistent with Karl Abarth’s “wicked but small” principle since the 1960s. This 2012 model is launched in America and introduced with the racing traits and traditions that contributed to its victories in the European racetracks – topnotch precision and performance, aggressive and straightforward design, enhanced power-to-weight proportions, and regulated production numbers.

Olivier Francois, the Chief Marketing Officer of the Chrysler Group LLC and Head of FIAT Brand, said that the purpose of offering the Fiat 500 Abarth to American clients was to provide driving aficionados with Italian performance cars at an affordable cost. Due to its lightweight handling and purposeful design, the iconic racing history of the brand was brought to life by the Fiat 500 Abarth, making it the best-performing Italian car for daily elegant drives.

Taking advantage on the thrill for the 2012 Fiat 500 (Cinquecento), the Fiat 500 Abarth was timely designed and built for driving enthusiasts and purists who want no less than the topnotch compact car with an elite Italian lineage.

2012 Fiat 500 Abarth breaks ground with the company’s tradition of exceptional performance. Equipped with the 1.4L MultiAir Turbo engine, Abarth-developed brake systems and suspension, aggressive design and innovative technology, the car offers way more than what a compact car commonly provides.


The bold and aggressive design of the 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth fully represents the brand heritage – intentional and purposeful details are incorporated to enhance the vehicle’s performance, while improving the simple and clean design idiom of the Cinquecento.

Topics: fiat, italy, production

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