The Italian government is increasing pressure on Fiat to make public its investment plans for the country soon as it fears that it could close one or more of its five production units.
Italy’s industry and labour ministers, Corrado Passera and Elsa Fornero, have each asked for meetings with Fiat’s CEO, Sergio Marchionne, before the company’s third-quarter financial results, due to be published on October 30.
At the end of October, Fiat wants to outline a revised production plan, which will say which of its plants will be allocated new models. “Mr Marchionne cannot pull back. Not only does he owe it to the government and his shareholders, but especially to the Fiat workers and the thousands of families that depend on Fiat and on Italy,” said Elsa Fornero in an interview in La Repubblica newspaper. She added that Marchionne has the duty to make clear whether Fiat’s investment plans have changed.
In 2010, Fiat promised to invest 16 billion euros in its Italian carmaking operations and another 4 billion euros in its sister company Fiat Industrial unde the “Fabbrica Italia” plan agreed with unions. In exchange, Marchionne obtained concessions in areas such as flexible working.
But sales have collapsed in Italy and western Europe since then, and Fiat said it needs to revise its production plans.