Fiat sees tough times continuing, but Italian plants safe
European car market may not yet have 'reached bottom'30 January, 10:53
"I confirm that we will not close plants in Italy," Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said at the opening of a new Maserati factory at Grugliasco, near Fiat's Turin base.
"Perhaps the European car market has not touched the bottom".
Marchionne's comments were echoed by Fiat Chairman John Elkann, one of the heirs of the Agnelli family that founded the company and made it into an international auto giant.
"It's been 10 years since my grandfather (former Fiat chief Giovanni Agnelli) passed away and since then our commitment to Italy and to Turin has never faltered," Elkann said.
"That is because my family and Sergio Marchionne wanted this, despite the market difficulties. "We took tough decisions to be able to continue producing in Italy".
Marchionne, who is also the CEO of Chrysler after the Italian firm took it over in 2009, said he was hopeful Fiat's European business could break even by 2015 or 2016. "We are working at the speed of light to achieve this," Marchionne said. photo: inside the new Maserati factory at Grugliasco.