Fiat Closes the Melfi Facility for Three Months image

Although Fiat Punto is Italy’s second best sold car, the company shuts down for three months the Melfi factory to align production with demand.

From August to October Fiat will not manufacture any Punto, after it previously stopped production for a few days in June too. The company is currently looking for a partner to share production capacity, and taking into consideration the deal with Mazda, we can expect the next Europe-bound Mazda 2 to be built in Italy, together with the new Punto.

Earlier this month Fiat announced it will extend the one-month summer holiday at its Naples plant, with extra two weeks, due to low sales in Italy, the lowest in the last 30 years. The facility manufactures the subcompact Panda model and the shutdown will idle 2,150 workers. The company invested €800,000 ($1 billion) in the state-of-the –art Pomigliano plant, to produce the new generation Panda.

“The data for the European auto market, and that in Italy in particular, confirm that the crisis in sales shows no signs of ending,” Fiat said in a statement. “In Italy, the market, which is at 1979 levels, is penalizing Fiat above all in the city car segment, where Fiat, with the Panda and the 500, hold a 60 percent share.”