Fiat Tries to Avoid Closing Plants in Italy by Reducing Working Hours image

Fiat plans to avoid closing plants in Europe by reducing working hours through autumn.

Fiat’s situation in Europe is similar to that of other automakers, struggling with low demand and sales. But Fiat plans to avoid closing its plants and only reduce the working hours at its plans in the home market. The automaker will focus on other markets such as Brazil and the US, which show signs of recovery. Two months ago Marchionne said he will be forced to close a plant if the automaker doesn’t come up with a plan to diminish excess capacity in Italy and manufacture cars for North America.

“At the meeting with trade unions on Aug. 1, Marchionne said Fiat already closed the Termini Imerese plant in Italy, so now it’s up to other European countries to make a move,” a union source said. “I think he won’t do anything.”

PSA has already announced its plans to cut more than 10,000 jobs in France and close a plant, and GM will most likely close the Opel plant at Bochum, Germany, in 2017. Marchionne plans to avoid plant closure in Italy by reducing production hours throughout the autumn and lay off white collar workers when the country’s economy recovers.