Fiat's Serbian unit halts production - spokeswoman

BELGRADE Thu Oct 31, 2013 7:02am EDT

BELGRADE Oct 31 (Reuters) - The Serbian unit of Italian automaker Fiat, a major driver of the Serbian economy, has halted production after a supplier was unable to deliver parts, the company said on Thursday.

The halt comes as disgruntled workers at a transport company blocked railways and roads in the area over unpaid wages. The spokeswoman said she was unable to confirm if the halt in production was due to the blockade, which has lasted ten days.

"Production ceased on Wednesday and we still don't know when it will resume," said the spokeswoman, Aleksandra Rankovic.

The factory, a 1-billion-euro ($1.38 billion) joint venture 67 percent owned by Fiat and 33 percent by the Serbian state, began production of Fiat's 500L family of compact cars in July 2012. It produced 30,000 vehicles last year.

The plant, a major exporter in Serbia and driver of its struggling economy, plans to produce around 110,000-140,000 cars this year. ($1 = 0.7262 euros) (Reporting by Ivana Sekularac; editing by Tom Pfeiffer)

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