Fiat Punto, the entry level hatchback from the Italian car maker is going to be the first casualty of declining car sales in Europe. It is now reported that Fiat is planning to completely stop the production of Punto at their plant in Melfi, Italy. Car sales in the European auto industry has seen a decline of 7.8% for the period of January to October 2012, compared to the same period last year.
The downfall in car sales is experienced throughout Europe. In its home market, Fiat sales have declined by 19.7%, in Spain, their sales have declined by 11.9%, in Greece by 39.9% and in Portugal by 38.3%. All these four markets are considered to be its strongest in Europe. Autonews reports that Fiat is operating their plants at 50% capacity due to this decline in sales across Europe.
Considering this double digit decline in growth, Fiat Auto is in a difficult spot, and is pressurized to act. Reuters have reported that Fiat is going to place some 5,000 workers of theirs in Italy on a temporary layoff scheme. Under this scheme, from December 17 and December 21 workers will be on a temporary layoff for a period of 20 days, until January 2013.