Report: Fiat to start investment in Italy even if PM Mario Monti resigns image

Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne may start a new investment plan for Italy as soon as next week in the southern town of Melfi, three people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

Marchionne is expected to give details then on the initial spending at the Melfi plant to buid Jeep and Fiat SUVs, the unnamed sources said. Fiat plans to go ahead with the projects announced in October even with possible political instability in Italy after prime minister Mario Monti announced his intention to resign.

A Fiat spokesman declined to comment on the matter. Marchionne, who is also CEO of Chrysler, plans to boost sales of more expensive models to turn around Fiat’s operations in Europe, which are forecast to post €700 million in losses this year. By 2014, Marchionne wants to cut Fiat’s trading-profit goal by 31 percent to 5.2 billion euros.

By 2016, Fiat plans to introduce 19 models that will be produced in Italy, including nine Alfa Romeos and six Maseratis. Of these new vehicles, 15 will be made for both export outside the region and sale in Europe.

Fiat and Chrysler plan to invest up to 18 billion euros in the next two years, mainly to develop new models in Europe.