Italian automaker Fiat announced today that it is giving more than half of its workers extended holidays that will see 14 of its 20 home country factories shut down for two or four-week periods until mid-January. Fiat will temporarily lay off 48,000 of its 80,000 Italian workers in order to cope with a drastic drop off in new car demand across the globe.
The affected plants include the Mirafiori facility (pictured) that builds the Grande Punto and Alfa Romeo MiTo, which will shut down for two weeks, and the Pomigliano d’Arco facility that builds Alfa Romeo 159s 147s and GTs, which will shut down for a month and the Termini Imerese facility that builds the Lancia Ypsilon will pause for a total of three weeks.
Part of the Fiat workers’ salaries will be paid by a government-administered fund, the “cassa integrazione,” which pays a portion of the worker’s salaries, the automaker said in a release. The plant idling doesn’t affect the automaker’s agricultural, construction and industrial vehicles - just passenger cars.
Fiat is struggling with the worldwide downturn in new car sales - Fiat’s new car sales dropped 25 percent to 71,000 in November over the year before, though the automaker says its European market share has actually improved from 8.2 to 8.3 percent this year.
Fiat employs 185,000 workers across the globe in 178 plants.