Stellantis will halt production at its plant in Melfi, southern Italy for the period 2-12 April because of low demand triggered by the COVID-19 crisis, the UILM union said on Monday.

The union told Reuters production at the plant, which makes Jeep Renegade and Compass models and the Fiat 500X compact SUV, has been repeatedly disrupted due to weak demand and semiconductor supply shortages.

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

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

A spokesman for Stellantis confirmed to the news agency the plant would be closed in that 2-12 April period.

All of Melfi's more than 7,000 workers would be put on a furlough scheme for the period, the report added.