by Bill Cawthon • Posted on January 25th, 2013
Reuters reports that trade unions representing workers at its Melfi assembly plant have approved a program that allows the automaker to temporarily lay off workers while it restructures the facility to produce new vehicles, including a smaller Jeep model.
The announcement came from Giuseppe Giordano, regional secretary of the UGL metalworkers union, following a meeting with Fiat.
The unions’ approval means Fiat can shut down two lines at the Melfi plant as early as February 11. The Italian government still needs to sign off on the deal to ensure funds for the extended unemployment period.
The temporary lay-off scheme can run until the end of 2014, but Fiat can restart production as soon as new lines are ready, possibly reopening at the end of 2013.
Fiat is awaiting an approval by the government for the plan.
Melfi, one of Fiat’s largest Italian plants, currently builds the Punto model. Fiat Group said it would invest about $1.3 billion to produce a new Jeep and the Fiat 500X crossover beginning in 2014.
In today’s print edition of Automotive News, Larry Vellequette wrote about one more facet of the ongoing battle for bragging rights among pickup manufacturers.
This time, Ram is engaged in a tussle with Ford over top towing rights. Ford claims the championship over the Ram 3500, saying its 4X4 crew cab heavy-duty pickup can tow 31,200 pounds, 1,200 more than the Ram 3500 regular cab 4X2, which Chrysler maintains has “best-in-class” towing....
San Francisco-based Glass, Lewis & Co. has recommended that its clients approve the Fiat Chrysler merger this Friday.
Glass Lewis is one of the two leading proxy service companies in the world, the other being ISS which last week advised its clients to vote down the merger.
According to a Reuters report, the company said the benefits of the merger outweigh concerns about voting rights....
NHRA Pro Stock points leader Erica Enders-Stevens didn’t race at Sonoma and she won’t be competing at the Northwest Nationals in Seattle.
Elite Motorsports owner Richard Freeman two-event “holiday” at the Mile-High Nationals in Denver.
Despite her very impressive racing resume, Enders-Stevens lacks a real sponsor and it’s likely this was a major consideration, especially since she had built up a 241-point lead over Allen Johnson, who is second in the point standings, at the end of the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio....
Jeg Coughlin Jr. became the second Mopar driver to clinch a spot in the six-race Countdown to the Championship that will determine the Mello Yello NHRA Pro Stock world championship.
Coughlin joined teammate Allen Johnson in the Countdown after making it to the Pro Stock semifinals in the NHRA Sonoma Nationals that ran this weekend at Sonoma Raceway....