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Maserati assembly halted 9 more days

by Chris Vander Doelen on

Production of the Maserati Levante has been suspended for another nine days for reasons not explained by the company, according to the Italian union which builds the SUV.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has reduced production of the Levante several times over the last two months, along with the Alfa Romeo Stelvio SUV and the Giulia sedan. Problems with new imports rules in China were cited for those reductions, which included some temporary, day-long plant shutdowns and slower line runs.

FIOM, the union which represents FCA assembly workers in Italy, announced the new production cuts on Friday, questioning the motivation behind the reductions this time.

“Are we sure this is a temporary situation because of the Chinese market or is this pointing to a structural drop in volumes?” asked Federica Bellono, who is regional secretary general for FIOM in Turin, where Levante assembly is located. Reuters moved the story.

During a conference call with analysts this week, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said there were no “structural” issues with Maserati production. The company declined requests to comment anew on Friday.

Chris Vander Doelen was Opinion Editor and columnist of The Windsor Star until December, 2016; he was the Star's automotive reporter and columnist for seven years, and had also covered the political and gambling beats. With his wife, Veronique Mandal, he wrote the book Chasing Lightning (1999). Chris won a National Newspaper Award in 1997 and more than a dozen provincial news awards. There is a Chrysler 300 in his driveway.

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