Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said Wednesday it will start implementing temporary closures at some of its Italian plants, and Italy's largest dealer group said it will shut its doors until April 3 to help combat Europe's worst outbreak of the coronavirus.
A FCA spokesman said affected plants were in Pomigliano d'Arco, Melfi, Atessa and Cassino. Each factory will be halted for two or three days between Wednesday and Saturday. Production is scheduled to restart on Monday.
FCA's move affects plants that account for 600,000 units a year and 4 percent of European vehicle production, Evercore ISI estimates.
FCA said in a statement it was taking additional steps to minimize the risk of spreading the virus among employees, including intensive sanitization of all work and rest areas, to support the government's directives to curb the spread of the infectious disease.
"As a result of taking these actions the company will, where necessary, make temporary closures of its plants across Italy," the release said.
FCA said that to allow greater spacing of employees at their workstations, "daily production rates will be lowered to accommodate the adapted manufacturing processes."