Workers at Fiat Chrysler’s Mirafiori plant in Turin, Italy, hope the addition of the Maserati Levante to the plant’s production line will bring them job security following years of temporary lay offs and inconsistent work patterns, Reuters reports.
The Maserati Levante went into production at the Mirafiori facility this week, just a day before the car was officially unveiled at the 2016 Geneva International Motor Show in Switzerland. Workers can now enjoy regular shift work at the plant, where as before FCA was using furloughs, which force workers to stay home and earn a portion of their salary, only being called in a few days a month or when needed.
“I can finally bring a full pay check home at the end of the month and that’s a huge comfort,” one shift worker at the plant told Reuters in an interview.
Workers aren’t entirely in the clear, however. Their job security will ultimately depend on how well the Levante sells. The vehicle is competing the extremely competitive and crowded luxury SUV segment, with one analyst saying it will merely be a “minnow in the marketplace,” when it hits dealers later this year.
Casting more doubt on the success of the Levante is Maserati’s recent sales records. It saw sales slide 11 percent and profit margins dip by more than half in 2015, so whether or not the Levante will truly help Mirofiori workers of steer clear of nay more furloughs going forward remains to be seen.