Fiat to halt production at Melfi plant in Dec, Jan

MILAN Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:08am EST

MILAN Nov 20 (Reuters) - Italian carmaker Fiat SpA will stop production for more than 20 days in December and in January at its Melfi plant in southern Italy, a company source told Reuters on Tuesday.

Fiat will place 5,000 workers in Melfi, where it makes the Punto car model, on a temporary layoff scheme on Dec. 17 and from Dec. 21 until Jan. 13.

The carmaker group has sent workers home from many of its Italian plants on temporary layoffs this year to cope with languishing car sales in Europe.

So far this year, western Europe's car market has shrunk by 7.3 percent, Brussels-based industry group ACEA said on Friday, led by double-digit declines in crisis-hit Greece, Portugal and Italy. (Reporting by Gianni Montani Writing by Francesca Landini; Editing by Luca Trogni and Helen Massy-Beresford)

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