Fiat to spend 20 billion euros to revamp its Italian plants

Article by Christian A., on February 15, 2011

Fiat S.p.A. has made a pledge to spend 20 billion euros ($27 billion) to revamp domestic plants. CEO Sergio Marchionne confirmed this after coming out from a meeting with Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

After discussing the investment plan with Marchionne and Fiat Chairman John Elkann, Industry Minister Paolo Romani said last Saturday that Fiat is expanding internationally but “will keep an Italian heart.”

The meeting was attended by Romani, Berlusconi and other members of the government. Last Feb. 4, Marchionne made a comment that caused quite a stir. He had said that Fiat and Chrysler Group may “end up looking like one entity,” and will possibly be based in the U.S.

He later issued another statement to clarify that there has been no decision made yet and that the issue will be dealt with no sooner than 2014. Fiat owns a 25% stake in Chrysler.

Turin Mayor Sergio Chiamparino said after attending the meeting that the “positive evolution of Fiat's plan for Italy will condition the decision” on where the headquarters will be located.

Fiat has set a goal to produce up to 280,000 cars and SUVs a year under the Jeep and Alfa Romeo brands at its Mirafiori plant in Italy, beginning in 2012 as part of its alliance with Chrysler.

Under a deal with unions, workers will work longer hours, take shorter breaks and risk having pay withheld for persistent absenteeism.

The Mirafiori agreement is included in a project to overhaul Fiat's five Italian car plants, where the company seeks to boost annual production to 1.4 million vehicles by 2014 from 650,000 in 2009. On Feb. 15, Marchionne is set to discuss those goals at a parliamentary hearing in Rome. [via autonews - sub. required]

Topics: fiat, italy

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