Fiat to slash Polish workforce

By bne IntelliNews December 10, 2012

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In stark contrast to next door Slovakia, Poland's carmakers are helping to drag the economy towards the doldrums. That trend was made concrete with the Polish unit of Fiat announcing on December 7 that it plans to cut around a third of its workforce as the Eurozone crisis continues to hit Europe's old and largely unreconstructed automakers.

Fiat Auto Poland said it plans to cut up to 1,500 jobs due to falling demand for its cars in Europe. The Italian carmaker's plant located in the south of the country employed 4,967 workers at the end of October, reports Reuters.

Output in Poland will be below 350,000 cars this year and will drop to below 300,000 in 2013, compared with over 600,000 in 2009, the company said. The final number of workers to be laid off will be known after negotiations with trade unions, which are set to finish in the first half of January, a spokesman for Fiat Auto Poland said.

While modern car plants, run by Asian and German manufacturers turning out efficient cars, are driving the Slovak economy next door to become the fastest growing in the Eurozone, the dwindling fortunes of Polish auto producers has only antagonized the slowdown through 2012.

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