Marchionne Reaffirms He Will Not Close Plants in Italy image

Sergio Marchionne, Fiat’s CEO, said the automaker will not close any plant in Italy despite the drop in domestic car market.

Marchionne added that the company won’t make investments in new car models, after it spent billion euro ($1.3 billion) to open a second facility in Turin, where it will manufacture new high-end Maseratis, and 800 million on its plant near Naples. Although the automaker presented its strategy plan before, the company was put under pressure to provide further details about its future intentions as the economic recession raises concerns over the possibility of job cuts at Italy’s biggest private employer.

“We’re in a dramatic situation here, and I’ve never talked about plant closures, I’ve never said I wanted to leave,” he said. “I can assure you that it’s a huge responsibility to make these choices today.”

Nevertheless, the industry and labor ministers still plan to meet Marchionne for talks. Italy currently faces a drop in auto sales not seen in 40 years, and this decrease forced Fiat to idle its plants in Italy and to prepare for future temporarily production halt during this fall. Although Marchionne is aware that the auto market in Italy next year will be ‘very, very bad’, he still keeps his decision of not closing any plant in the country.