Five of Fiat’s plants in Italy are losing money, prompting concerns that some of the production may be transferred overseas. However, Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne said that Italy will continue to have a vital role in the automaker’s plans, specifically the global coordination of the group. Fiat currently owns 53.5% of U.S. group Chrysler.
When the group's new Panda model was presented last Wednesday, Marchionne told reporters on the sidelines that Italy will “continue to have a very important role of for the group.”
Trade unions are worried that Fiat’s operations will be moved abroad. Last Tuesday, Fiat unions inked a new labor deal that’s expected to raise productivity and lessen absenteeism at its struggling domestic plants. Marchionne, who is the CEO of Chrysler too, has demanded for union support as a condition for releasing investments amounting to 20 billion euros ($26 billion) in Italy.
He reiterated that Chrysler's operating profit in 2012 is predicted to reach $3 billion. With regards to the sovereign debt crisis in Europe, Marchionne said that any solution would not be easy but he is still optimistic that Italy will be able to beat the crisis.
He thinks that what Europe needs is the commitment of all its countries to converge. Financial market confidence has yet to be restored despite the European summit deal last week to boost budget discipline in the eurozone.