Italy: Fiat to shutdown Sicilian plant on 23 Nov image

Following a two-year notice period, Fiat – the largest Italian automaker will stop making cars at a plant in Termini Imerese (Sicily) from Nov. 23 – Vincenzo Comella of Uilm, one of the unions that took part in the latest meetings with Fiat officials.

The plant produces the group’s Lancia Ypsilon hatchback. Fiat declined to comment when contacted by Inautonews.

Since 1970, Termini Imerese hosts the large Fiat automobile manufacturing facility, where Fiat’s small cars such as the Fiat 126, the original Fiat Panda as well as the Fiat Punto have been manufactured.

Since 2005, the plant is the sole assembly site for the Lancia Ypsilon, and in 2006 such a vehicle became the four-millionth one to be produced there.

Last month, representatives from the three major engineering unions (FIOM, FIM and UILM) held a rally in Palermo and verbosely proclaimed their intention to save jobs.

FIAT intends to make something else at the factory, but Sergio Marchionne said he did not know exactly what that would be just yet.

-update
After receiving a number of offers, the Italian government has chosen DR Motor Co. SpA to take over Termini Imerese from Fiat.

The company will assemble parts imported from China to make cars, Comella told Dow Jones Newswires Monday.