Rome

Fiat to keep its four plants operating in Italy

Further plans to be announced October 30

Fiat to keep its four plants operating in Italy

(ANSA) - Rome, October 16 - Auto giant Fiat's new industrial plan says that it will keep its four Italian plants operating, CEO Sergio Marchionne said Tuesday. The car giant has recently been criticised for a U-turn on plans to invest 20 billion euros over five years. Following Tuesday meetings Fiat announced temporary layoffs for 5,000 of its employees at its Melfi factory in southern Italy for the months of November and December, the FISMIC autoworkers union said. In September, Fiat told the government that it would remain in Italy but could not invest in plants or products until the market was right. "Anyone operating in the automotive sector in Europe today is experiencing varying degrees of unhappiness. The European car market is a disaster," Marchionne said. Figures for the Italian automobile manufacturer last September were exceptionally negative and reflected an 18.5% drop in European sales, largely due to the poor performance of the Italian market. The chief economist for the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said in September that Italy's economy was "not open enough to attract investments and persuade a large group like Fiat to stay in the country. Union leaders on Tuesday confirmed the company's reassurance that they would stay in the country. "The meeting (with Fiat) went well," the head of the UIL trade union, Luigi Angeletti said. More specifics regarding Fiat's plans for future operations in the country will be announced on October 30, the company's CEO said.

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