Thousands More Auto Industry Jobs at Risk

There is a new, dire warning from Italy's auto sector.

Top union officials and the chief executive officer of Fiat say the country could lose 60,000 jobs if the government does not come to the rescue.

The Italian government is set to open talks on aid for the auto industry, which has been hit hard by the global recession.

Fiat and troubled number three U.S. automaker Chrysler announced a partnership to build small, fuel efficient cars just last week.

Meanwhile, Britain is rushing to the aid of its battered auto industry.

British Business Secretary Peter Mandelson says the government will help guarantee about three billion dollars in loans for the country's car-makers.  He told lawmakers the money did not amount to a "bailout," but would help the industry become a leader in environmentally-friendly vehicles.

Also, Japan's second-largest car-maker, Honda, said it is cutting production in North America and Japan.

Japanese media reported Monday that top Japanese automaker Toyota may cut global production by more than 20 percent this year as it struggles to cope with lagging demand.

Top U.S. carmaker General Motors said Monday it is eliminating 2,000 jobs and cutting production at more than a dozen U.S. and Canadian factories.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters

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