This month Fiat’s CEO Sergio Marchionne and Italian labor minister Elsa Fornero will meet to discuss the car maker’s investment plans.
“Marchionne and I have spoken recently. We have talked about meeting in August. From the statements I have heard recently, I have understood that Fiat will maintain its investment plans here even though it is a difficult moment,” Fornero said.
On July 31st, Marchionne who is also Chrysler’s manager, announced Fiat’s plan to invest 7.5 billion euro by the end of this year, most of it outside Italy, which has been heavily affected by the European debt crisis. On August 1st, Fiat said it could not offer information about future investments in Italy, due to the 5-year slump in the European market.
After the Italian economy fell 2.5% in June, the already weak auto market fears that Fiat may prepare a plant closure in the country. In August Fiat sent the majority of its employees from the Italian facilities on temporary lay off because of the slack demand. In July car sales fell 21.4% in Italy, as well as in Spain and France.
“We reserve the right to deal with these issues, including the issue of closing plants, after the third quarter, when we will have a better reading of the European market,” Marchionne said in a conference call on July 31st.