Fiat’s auto unit said on Wednesday it would temporarily reduce production at three factories next month, a move that will affect thousands of workers.


The Associated Press (AP) said the measures are being taken to cut vehicle production in light of weak market trends. Several European car manufacturers have taken similar action in the second half of 2004.


Fiat Auto will keep 1,300 workers at its Mirafiori plant in Turin off the job from November 15-21, and another 1,400 workers at its Termini Imerese plant in Sicily off the job for three weeks, from November 15 to December 5, the report said.


AP said Fiat Auto’s furloughs at Mirafiori will cut output of the Alfa Romeo 166 and the Lancia Thesis, both upmarket models, as well as the Lancia Lybra. At Termini Imerese, the move will reduce production of the company’s best-selling vehicle, the compact Fiat Punto.


The automaker will also close the Cassino plant, which employs 3,600 workers and makes the Stilo model, from Novenber 22 to December 5, the report added.