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Chrysler Furloughs Workers as Fiat 500 Inventory Climbs

November 30, 2011
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(Story via Edmunds AutoObserver ) DUNDEE, MI-Chrysler Group LLC is laying off workers and reducing output at its engine plant in Dundee, MI, that makes 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engines for the Fiat 500, reported trade journal Automotive News. A United Auto Workers union official said the layoffs amount to about one-quarter of the plant’s 400-member workforce, although a Chrysler source said the number is less, with many employees redeployed to other jobs.

Italy’s Fiat S.p.A., which in July obtained majority ownership of Chrysler, was awarded a minority ownership of Chrysler and became managing partner of the company when Chrysler exited bankruptcy in 2009. Prior to that in January, Fiat obtained an incremental 5-percent stake in Chrysler from the U.S. Department of Treasury in exchange for agreeing to build the fuel-efficient 4-cylinder engines in the U.S. Data from Edmunds.com’s proprietary Days To Turn metric indicate that in July, it took a Fiat 500 about 26 days to be sold once it reached a dealer, but the number has been rising ever since. In October, the DTT figure for the Fiat 500 was 55 days.

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