Fiat plans to refocus Italian plants on exports

AP News
Posted: Sep 22, 2012 7:54 PM

MILAN (AP) — Italian carmaker Fiat has restated its commitment to remain in Italy and says it will refocus its Italian plants on exports.

Fiat, which controls U.S. carmaker Chrysler, made the assurances Saturday after CEO Sergio Marchionne met with Premier Mario Monti amid growing concerns that the crisis would force plant closures.

Fiat sales in Italy dropped by 20 percent in the first half of the year, and plants have been greatly underutilized.

Fiat said in a joint government statement that it will invest in Italy to prepare new products for launch when the market recovers, and that it has invested €5 billion ($6.5 billion) in the last three years.

Fiat investments have come under scrutiny since it retreated on plans to invest €20 billion over five years due to uncertainty.