Stellantis to halt production at Italy plant in April

Stellantis builds models including the Jeep Compass in Melfi.

MILAN — Stellantis will halt production at its plant in Melfi, southern Italy, between April 2 and April 12 because of low demand triggered by the COVID-19 crisis, and not because of the global chip shortage, the UILM union said on Monday.

A spokesman for Stellantis confirmed the plant would be closed during this period. All of Melfi’s more than 7,000 workers will be put on a furlough scheme during this time.

Production at the plant, which makes Jeep Renegade and Compass models and the Fiat 500X utility vehicle, has been repeatedly disrupted due to weak demand and semiconductor supply shortages.

The FIM CISL union said last week the company was considering permanently closing one of its two production lines at the Melfi plant to address excess capacity in Italy.

UILM spokesman Gianluca Ficco said on Monday the company told unions the latest Melfi production freeze was specifically due to low demand and not a result of the global chip shortage.

European car registrations fell 23 percent in the first two months of this year, according to industry data, as protracted coronavirus lockdowns and consequent uncertainty continue to hit vehicle demand.

Read More: Auto News

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