On Wednesday, March 14th, Fiat said it sold 20,000 less cars due to a transport strike in Italy, translating in March market share down 10% in Italy and overseas.
“If the situation does not return to normal in the coming days, Fiat will shut its Italian plants, including the factory at Pomigliano that is involved in the European launch of the Panda,” the company said in a statement.
The strikes come from truck drivers, pharmacists and other service providers. The drivers are against higher fuel taxed and road tolls, demand a ceiling on insurance premiums, a government crackdown on unlicensed trucking companies blamed for driving down freight rates and easier reimbursement of duty on diesel fuel.
Fiat SpA may see its European sales decline by 500,000 cars a year as fallout from the debt crisis hits growth and demand, Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne said earlier this month. The strikes, which began in January, affected the Melfi and Sevel plants, and also the Mirafiori, Pomigliano and Cassino plants.
“When the truck strike ends, it will take around 5 to 6 days for our plants to return to normal working” said a Fiat spokesperson.