Fiat confirms it will remain in Italy

Automaker will refocus its Italian plants on exports.

September 24, 2012
by The Canadian Press

MILAN, Italy—Italian carmaker Fiat has restated its commitment to remain in Italy and says it will refocus its Italian plants on exports.

The company, which controls US carmaker Chrysler, made the assurances Saturday after CEO Sergio Marchionne met with Premier Mario Monti amid growing concerns that the crisis would force plant closures.

The automaker’s sales in Italy dropped by 20% in the first half of 2012, while plants have gone greatly underutilized.

Fiat said in a joint government statement that it will invest in Italy to prepare new products for launch when the market recovers, and that it has invested $6.5 billion in the last three years.

Last week, the Italian prime minister Mario Monti met with Fiat’s CEO, Sergio Marchionne amid fears the company would shutter its Italian operations due to spate economic conditions in Europe.

©The Canadian Press