Fiat denies considering idea of HQ transfer to the US

Article by Eugene Conan, on May 17, 2013

An idea to transfer Fiat SpA’s corporate headquarters from Turin, Italy to the United States after it consummates a planned merger with Chrysler Group is not on the carmaker's agenda. A spokesman for Fiat said in a statement that the issue, which was floated around in 2012 by the media, is not “the order of the day” as chief executive Sergio Marchionne has recently reiterated.

Fiat’s latest statement referred to a Bloomberg report this week that cites people privy with the matter as saying that the Italian carmaker was considering transferring its corporate headquarters to the US. The sources told Bloomberg that there is yet no final decision on the matter and other options are being assessed.

The idea to transfer Fiat’s headquarters to the US was pitched in by L. Brooks Patterson, county executive of Oakland County, Michigan where Chrysler is based, while having dinner with Marchionne in Turin in 2012. Patterson told Bloomberg that if the transfer materializes, “it's good news." Patterson remarked that the transfer would enhance the “entire Motor City image.” Marchionne remarked in April 2013 that he favored a primary listing in New York for Fiat.

During an April 29, 2013 conference call, Marchionne said a merged Fiat would be headquartered in the geographical region that has "the adequacy of capital markets” needed to support the carmaker’s operations in the future. He added that Europe is becoming “a less and less relevant fact in the scheme of things," as the region accounts for lesser share of global sales.

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