The Italian company announced that its Serbian production unit, a major pillar of the country’s economy, was forced to halt output production after a supplier was unable to deliver the necessary parts.
The stoppage comes as dissatisfied workers at a transport company moved to block railways and roads in the area, protesting over unpaid salaries. A company spokeswoman said she was unable to confirm if the production stop was all due to the blockade, which has lasted ten days.
“Production ceased on Wednesday and we still don’t know when it will resume,” said the spokeswoman, Aleksandra Rankovic.
The factory, a 1-billion-euro (860.62 million pounds) joint venture 67 % owned by Fiat and 33 % by the Serbian state, started building the Fiat 500L family of compact cars in July 2012. It made 30,000 vehicles last year. The factory, a major exporter in Serbia and driver of its struggling economy, now plans to build about 110,000-140,000 cars this year.