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article imageFiat to close for 8 days, savings up to $1.25 million a day

By Leigh Goessl     Jun 12, 2012 in Business
Mirafiori - Italian carmaker Fiat plans to shut down operations this summer for eight days in an attempt to save money. As a result, the company's 5,400 employees at its Mirafiori, Italy headquarters will see some unexpected time off work.
According to Autoblog, Fiat plans to shut down its facility for eight days with the intent to save an estimated $1.25 million (1 million euros) a day. The planned shut down dates begin this week and will take place on June 14-15. The second round of closings will occur on June 20-21, with an additional four days in July.
August will also see a month-long shutdown, but this is an annual event scheduled for summer vacation.
Auto News reported this facility is home to Fiat's styling center, engineering and manufacturing operations, sales and marketing, purchasing and administrative functions.
Fiat's decision is not unlike previous ones made in the past from other carmakers. Back in 2009, General Motors had scheduled shutdowns as a cost savings measure that lasted for weeks at a time. This GM shutdown came at a time when Chrysler was filing bankruptcy, just prior to the company's purchase by Fiat.
Earlier this year GM halted production of its Volt car for five weeks to allow slower sales to catch up to production.
In 2011 Toyota, Honda and Nissan also scheduled shutdown days in the companies' North American manufacturing facilities. This reduced schedule was put into place after the devastation caused by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan when parts needed for assembly were in shortage.
With the imminent temporary shutdowns, Fiat employees will receive 80 percent of their normal pay through funding by Italy's Cassa Integrazione temporary layoff program.
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