WARSAW – Fiat Auto Poland said that the "highly negative" situation on the vehicle market had caused a "surplus of 1,500 staff and forced the group to begin layoffs." The announcement was made at a meeting with unions.
The number represents Fiat one third of its workers in Poland.
Fiat Auto Poland said output at the plant had dropped from 600,000 vehicles in 2009 to fewer than 350,000 this year, and could fall below 300,000 in 2013. Fiat's Polish plant is located in the southern city of Tychy, with the bulk of its production destined for export.
On January 1, the plant is due to stop making the Fiat Panda in line with a decision taken in 2010 to shift production to Pomigliano in southern Italy. That is the main reason for the layoffs in Tychy, the plant's unions were quoted as saying by Polish news agency PAP.
Tychy is to continue making the Fiat 500, as well as the Lancia Ypsilon and the Ford Ka, under the Italian group's alliance with those firms.
Unions said they were surprised by the extent of the layoffs. They said Fiat was expected to propose a redundancy package worth 18 months of salary.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012