Rome

Fiat to suspend production at Pomigliano August 20-31

Carmaker blames state of auto market

Fiat to suspend production at Pomigliano August 20-31

(ANSA) - Rome, July 18 - Fiat said on Wednesday that it will stop production at its Pomigliano plant near Naples from August 20 to 31 because of the crisis the auto market is currently going though. The carmaker said the factory's 2,150 workers would be laid off for that period. The decision comes a day after European automakers' association ACEA said Fiat's car sales on the European market dropped 16.7% in June. Italy's biggest private-sector employer sold 79,927 cars in Europe last month, compared to 95,900 in June 2011, after it registered a 12.1% year-on-year drop in sales in May, ACEA said. As a result, Fiat's share of the European market fell to 6.4% in June, compared to 7.5% in June 2011 and 7.2% in May this year. The company said in a statement on Tuesday that it had been "penalised by the dreadful overall results of the Italian market". Italian sales were down by almost a quarter in June compared to the same month in 2011. Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said earlier this month that the carmaker may have to close one of its plants in Italy if weak demand on the European auto market continues.

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