Investments Mirafiori delayed for only a few months
The Italian Fiat-factories are not at risk and the investments in Mirafiori are only being delayed for a couple of months because of the current market conditions. That is the conclusion after the negotiations between Sergio Marchionne and the delegates of Italian trade unions yesterday. The CEO appears to have said that there are no factories at risk and that no parts of the company will be for sale, as there were rumors going around which claimed otherwise. The situation of Fiat is not comparable to that of PSA, said Marchionne.
Later this year, another meeting will take place during which the rebuilding of Mirafiori will be discussed. This was originally planned for this summer. By the end of 2013, this should result in a fully operational assembly line for the 500X and later on also the Jeepster. Meanwhile, investments in the Maserati-factory in Grugliasco are in full swing, as well as those in Pratola Serra, where the new 1.8l engines for Alfa Romeo and other brands will be built.
Fiat is slowing down because the market conditions are so bad that they first want to see what happens in the beginning of next year (whether the market will recover or not). In July, the Italian market dropped by 20% again. Trade union leaders were less worried about the good intentions of Fiat yesterday, than about the enormous depression of the car market and the, according to them, too passive attitude of the government. Fiat has more than enough cash, but that doesn’t mean they want to risk diving into non-profitable projects. That is why projects which are directly linked to the local and European market, like the future Fiat Punto and the potential successor of the MiTo, are postponed.
Sergio Marchionne would have told trade union leader Bonanni of the Cisl the following;
“I refuse to give up on Italy. If it would be a lost battle, I wouldn’t be here. And I think that even a little recovery of the market before the end of 2012 is very unlikely.”
Of course the Fiom wasn’t present. They did, however, as usually, attack Marchionne using the media. They said Marchionne is playing games with Italy and that he’s hiding himself behind the crisis. According to the trade union, there is no investment plan for the Italian factories.