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by Chris Anderson-Peters

Ferrari is seeking to idle production, cutting 9 percent of its work force after sister brand Maserati began reducing engine orders.

The supercar maker who employs around 3,000 people, plans to idle a factory in Maranello, Italy, by laying off 600 workers for a week starting May 17.

Ferrari is scaling back because of fewer orders from Fiat’s Maserati brand, for which Ferrari makes engines“, said Ferrari spokesman Stefano Lai.

Lai also refuted claims made by the CGIL union that Ferrari is slashing 2010 production targets to 11,000 vehicles from 20,000.

“Ferrari never planned to make 20,000 cars this year and will maintain production at about 6,000 vehicles, similar to last year’s output. The company intends to outsource some jobs to local companies and offer some employees early retirement“, Lai said.

Ferrari made engines for 4,500 Maseratis last year, down from almost 9,000 in 2008.

Lai declined to say how many Maserati engines will be made this year, instead stressing that Ferrari has to respond to market demands that rise and fall in an ever less predictable fashion.

The lay offs come two weeks after Fiat CEO, Sergio Marchionne, unveiled a new five year plan for Ferrari and Maserati, calling for the two luxury carmakers to almost double revenue to about 4 billion euros by 2014.

Ferrari sold 6,294 cars in 2009.




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