All six of Fiat's Italian plants will close for two weeks next month due to poor sales
28 January 2010

Fiat’s decision to shut all six of its Italian plants for two weeks from next month due to falling sales has sparked political activists to call for a boycott on all Fiat products.

Around 30,000 workers will be affected by the closures, which will occur in the last week of February and first week of March. Fiat is also considering axing a plant in Sicily.

Giovane Italia, a junior organisation to Silvio Berlusconi's ruling party, will lead a boycott against buying Fiat group cars and demonstrations against the company in 30 cities where the company has a strong presence.

Giovane Italia also wants Italians to sell any shares they own in the company and avoid using banks, insurers and publishing companies which Fiat has an interest in.

“Fiat is taking anti-national decisions such as delocalising vehicle production out of Italy, closing the Termini Imerese plant and putting workers in temporary lay-offs," Giovane Italia said in a statement.

One Fiat union has described the cuts as “blackmail” and workers will strike early next month to protest the closures.

Fiat’s sales in January are expected to be 12 per cent lower than the same month in 2009 and 40 per cent lower than in 2008.

The firm has called on pan-European scrappage schemes to stay in place if new car sales are to remain at sustainable levels in 2010. CEO Sergio Marchionne said earlier this week that sales would be “drastically cut” if schemes were withdrawn.

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13

28 January 2010

Part of me applauds them for sticking up for their own country, their own industry. But business is business. Their sales have significantly dropped since last year. Realistically I guess it was either stop production for a few weeks or announce significant job losses & redundancies.

FIAT have to compete against all the other car companies, Italy might think of FIAT fondly but they have to choose- let FIAT operate as a global company which tries to optimise its profits, or force FIAT to pander to its local market, protect jobs at the expense of profit margins, & hey ho, it will all go down the pan in time.

Ruthless as it sounds in these times businesses have to cut costs. That might not go down well in the local economy but in the long run it is better than the other choice which is going bankrupt.

currently a happy owner of a Mitsubishi Shogun Pinin :)

28 January 2010

Are people finally waking up to the fact that a 500 is a very expensive Panda? Boycotting all Fiat products helps production in what way?

 NeVeR L8te Smile

28 January 2010

[quote roverfan1984]

Part of me applauds them for sticking up for their own country, their own industry. But business is business. Their sales have significantly dropped since last year. Realistically I guess it was either stop production for a few weeks or announce significant job losses & redundancies.

FIAT have to compete against all the other car companies, Italy might think of FIAT fondly but they have to choose- let FIAT operate as a global company which tries to optimise its profits, or force FIAT to pander to its local market, protect jobs at the expense of profit margins, & hey ho, it will all go down the pan in time.

Ruthless as it sounds in these times businesses have to cut costs. That might not go down well in the local economy but in the long run it is better than the other choice which is going bankrupt.

[/quote]

Well said. And if Fiat need to shut for 2 weeks because of over production, how much longer will they need to shut if the Italians boycott Fiat products. Surely if they dont want Fiat to shut the factories they should encourage more people to buy the cars, not less.

28 January 2010

Exactly. They have not announced any job losses. If I was a FIAT worker I would be grateful. A lot of my friends & family work for a local company in my town & they have got rid of about a third of their workforce. Mostly "temps"... they werent temporary of course, they would have loved a permanent contract but companies are allowed to exploit the law keeping people on temporary contracts for years at a time, to give the employees less rights & allow the company to get rid of them with no compensation at a moments notice.

Im not speaking from personal experience, I have worked for the same company on a permanent contract for a long time. I am lucky in that respect. But I know that there a lot of people in this country that can work for the same company for years & still have no employment rights. Its shameful really. FIAT workers should be happy that they are not in the same situation. Somehow jobs in the car industry seems to grab all the headlines but there are workers being laid off in other industries every single day.

currently a happy owner of a Mitsubishi Shogun Pinin :)

28 January 2010

Anyway, rant about employment law over, sorry if it was off-topic, just annoys me. The point was that a few weeks of shutdown production is nothing compared to a significant proportion of the workforce being laid off. FIAT workers are quite lucky really, would they rather be facing mass redundancy??

currently a happy owner of a Mitsubishi Shogun Pinin :)

28 January 2010

[quote roverfan1984]The point was that a few weeks of shutdown production is nothing compared to a significant proportion of the workforce being laid off. FIAT workers are quite lucky really, would they rather be facing mass redundancy??[/quote]

Exactly, industrial action does no good at all in this situation.

28 January 2010

I agree with the comments above but do feel as if Fiat has a very weak product line up at the moment . Bar the 500 ? I also question how the economics add up to buying Chrysler when Fiat was already 12 billion in debt. Remember how cool and fresh the Fiat coupe looked a few years ago ? Theres nowt like that around now is there.

Dunno but it sounds much like when you in a hole dont start digging to me. I do think redundancies will come though and I feel for the poor buggers who will suffer as a result of it. It never affects the top brass who make crass decisions though does it.

As for Marchinne gobbing off about Spykers take over at Saab I reckon he needs to look at his own performance before criticising others.I really really cant see anything but Fiat suffering now it has taken over Chrysler.

Wow that was pretty gloomy sorry about that.

28 January 2010

These militants should wake up and smell the coffee. They still have jobs and Fiat need to reorganise to ensure they have a future. Global production is a fact of life and Fiats profits go back to Italy where they are involved with a whole range of social infrastructure.

Telling Italians to stop buying Faits as some kind of protest is stupid as this will turn a mere 2 week shutdown into permanent redundancies, what are they thinking of!

28 January 2010

[quote MattDB]

These militants should wake up and smell the coffee. They still have jobs and Fiat need to reorganise to ensure they have a future. Global production is a fact of life and Fiats profits go back to Italy where they are involved with a whole range of social infrastructure.

Telling Italians to stop buying Faits as some kind of protest is stupid as this will turn a mere 2 week shutdown into permanent redundancies, what are they thinking of!

[/quote]

It's a state funded exercise anyway, so what's the point?

28 January 2010

[quote Autocar]The firm has called on pan-European scrappage schemes to stay in place if new car sales are to remain at sustainable levels in 2010. CEO Sergio Marchionne said earlier this week that sales would be “drastically cut” if schemes were withdrawn.[/quote]

This is the most telling part of this story. There is no global recovery. Most of Europe's national economies and the US's economy have collapsed and are dead. Only schemes like Scrappage and trillions of printed money in the US and UK have to date prevented the real appearance of economic collapse - GDP being down 20-25% - becoming visible to all. Marchionne and others know this of course. There really is no way out. You either accept that real consumer demand(not fuelled by Ponzi credit) has collapsed by minimum 30% and asset prices by at least 50% - see the collapse in Ireland's house prices since 2007 peak - and make the best of it - at least a generation duration of post WWII-like austerity - or you identify what and whom brought this about and you sort it and them out. You may not avoid a generational depression but at least like the Icelanders you'll have the satisfaction of telling the private bankers expecting the taxpayers of a country to pay off their debts to go forth and multiply. I think the Italians given their machismo are more up for the latter than the Brits who will choose the former.

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