Because Maserati sales kept going down, Fiat Chrysler was forced to use temporary layoffs at one of its Italian plants, a union said in a statement on Wednesday.
Fiat Chrysler will continue to use temporary layoffs at its Grugliasco plant in Turin, northern Italy, to adjust to lower demand for the two Maserati models produced at the plant. Therefore, the workers will temporarily have to stay at home from March 17 to April 4, a plan that affects all 1,900 employees at the facility, the Fiom union said in a statement. The new suspension comes on top of three weeks of temporary layoffs between January and February. The production was also shut in September last year. “Maserati now makes use of temporary layoffs each month. There is a risk that production this year will be lower than in 2015 when it was already down 30 percent on the previous year,” it said. The Grugliasco plant produces the Maserati Quattroporte and Ghibli models.
Maserati shipments last year decreased 11 percent, from 36,448 units in 2014 to 32,474, the net revenues dropped by 13 percent and the adjusted EBIT fell 62 percent, primarily due to lower sales of the Quattroporte given weaker demand for the luxury sedan in the United States and China. That is the main reason behind CEO Sergio Marchionne’s putting on hold investments in Alfa Romeo and Maserati marques, to focus on the money makers SUVs and pickups produced by FCA’s Jeep and Ram marques. However, Maserati hopes to be revamped, to some extent, by the upcoming Levante SUV, but the brand’s sales target of 50,000 cars in 2016 and to 75,000 in 2018 seems miles away.