Fiat announced yesterday that it will again temporarily suspend production at two plants in Italy. Fiat blames the stoppage on a strike by Italian car haulers. According to the Wall Street Journal, the trucker strike “has gone on for about five weeks and in some cases turned violent.”
The national hauler association ANITA (Associazione Nazionale Imprese Trasporti Automobilistici), blames a small minority group of drivers who transport new cars to dealerships from Fiat and other manufacturers located outside Italy. The small group already set fire to a car hauler in Cassino, a town where Fiat has a plant. If that small group can get Fiat in trouble, wait until restive Fiat workers strike against Marchionne’s capacity reductions plans.
Fiat will shut production at the Cassino plant on March 27-29 and at its Pomigliano plant, where the new Panda is being produced, on March 26-27.
Fiat figures it will lose about 10 percent of its market share in Italy and abroad this month. Fiat already lost market share in Italy and Europe. Some of the strike action might be a welcome cover.