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Fiat Auto plans revamp, layoffs

Milan, Oct 4 (AFP): The Fiat industrial group, which has been fighting financial problems and weak sales for several months, today said its Fiat Auto unit would present a new restructuring plan, including further layoffs, to unions next week.

The new restructuring program “adjusting Fiat Auto production capacity to the market” would probably be unveiled on Wednesday, a Fiat spokesman said.

He said that the use of monthly layoffs “is no longer sufficient for this adjustment.”

Fiat Auto earlier this year announced 2,442 job cuts to respond to a decline in demand.

The spokesman declined to comment on newspaper reports of possible plant closures and job cuts.

The Financial Times, quoting people familiar with the situation, reported today that between 3,000 to 4,000 layoffs were expected as part of freezing production at the Termini Imerese plant near Palermo, and a plant in Arese, on the outskirts of Milan.

Unions feared as many as 6,000 layoffs were planned, the newspaper said.

The Italian daily Il Sole-24 Ore said, without giving a source, that 4,000-6,000 jobs were at risk at Fiat Auto, adding that the figure could even rise to 7,000-8,000.

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