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greatDrive 22nd August 2006 16:25

Fiatís golden handshake for Kurla unit employees
Saw this news in economictimes, Here is the link and strory

MUMBAI: Fiat India has announced a voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) for its workers at the Kurla factory in Mumbai. The scheme opened on Monday. A Fiat spokesperson said that the VRS has been announced for 552 workers at the Kurla factory and that it will remain open till September 5. ďPost the VRS, business activity will continue at Kurla,Ē the spokesperson added.

Fiat India employs 900 people of which 500 work in its Kurla factory. On Monday, the Economic Times reported that Fiat is in the process of making a VRS announcement and has put its Kurla property on the block. Also, Manohar Joshi-owned realty development firm Kohinoor Planet is close to clinching the deal. The announcement of the VRS reiterates Fiatís intention of winding-up operations in Mumbai and moving to Ranjangaon.

Fiat had announced a VRS scheme at the Kurla plant earlier this year, which was accepted by more than 50% of its 1270 strong workforce, putting in motion its plan to eventually relocate all manufacturing to Ranjangaon. Fiatís workers are affiliated with influential unions and will all have to be retrenched before the company moves base.

The sale of the Kurla property makes eminent sense for Fiat as its preparing to start another chapter in its India operations. The Italian company recently signed an MoU with Tata Motors, which will see the two companies jointly manufacturing cars, engines and transmissions out of Fiatís facility in Ranjangaon, near Pune.

It has been speculated for sometime now that Fiat is looking at disposing off its operations in Kurla, which has become highly unviable. The Kurla facility, which manufactures Fiatís Palio and Petra range of cars, was badly damaged in last yearís July rains and remained inoperative for nearly six months.

Kohinoor Planet is keen on the buying out Fiatís Kurla property as it acquired Premier Autoís 36-acre plot in Kurla adjoining the Fiat factory in í05.

theMAG 22nd August 2006 17:04

Nice to see Fiat taking steps in-line with its stated intention of entrenching itself in India for the long run.

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