Fiat has announced that it will temporarily suspend production of the Fiat Panda at its Pomigliano plant in southern Italy from October 16 to October 27. The reason for this is cited as a result of a “slowdown in the market in view of the end of the year”, according to Giuseppe Terraciano, secretary general for the Fim-Cisl union in Naples.

The company uses the state-backed temporary layoff scheme in an effort to avoid over-production by keeping workers at home whenever demand is low. Around 1,950 of the 4,500 employees are already on “solidarity contracts” since March this year – under which, they agree to work fewer hours and be paid less in exchange for keeping their jobs.

While Fiat’s plant has been under-operating for years, the company has stated that it plans to reinstate its entire workforce as it undertakes a five-year investment plan, which will hopefully see the company’s profits increase along with global sales.

This piece of news comes at an interesting time considering that Fiat, under Sergio Marchionne, has announced plans to increase its hold on the global car market in the next few years – including an increased production of Ferrari cars in order to help boost sales figures.