For Fiat to be able to boost car production in Italy by more than half to as much as 1 million units in 2012, it will require a huge investment, government support and greater worker flexibility, according to CEO Sergio Marchionne. He outlined a radical plan for production in Italy to government and union representatives earlier this week.
Marchionne, who is also the CEO of US carmaker Chrysler, said that he wants to ensure a strong future for auto production in the country.
Marchionne said that Fiat has the option of bringing the production of its Panda small car to the Pomigliano plant in southern Italy that is operating at about a third of capacity.
He said that if the future Panda is built at Pomigliano, very high volumes would be guaranteed. However, this would mean a radical intervention that would require huge resources.
Industry Minister Claudio Scajola has said he wants Fiat to produce more than 900,000 cars in Italy and that he appreciates Fiat's intention of raising production by 50%. Scajola said that this is what the government has requested.
A plant in Sicily will stop car production in December 2011. In relation to this, the minister is calling for Fiat, unions and local authorities to meet urgently. These plans were first outlined in June.