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FiatChrysler sets up home in London

2014-05-13 10:00

NEW NAME, NEW HOME: Workers are seen putting up Fiat Chrysler's new sign in Michigan, US. However, the company will be based in London, UK. Image: AP/Carlos Osorio

LONDON, England - Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has put up its US signage at the Chrysler HQ in Auburn Hills, Michigan, but soon the merged US/Italian brand will move house again... to London.

According to auto analyst John Wolkonowicz, writing in the Detroit News, London was a more sensible option for several reasons, one being “it avoids potential fall-out from choosing Chrysler's Michigan base over Turin in Italy”.

Flat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne said, however, that London should cause "little to no economic impact for Auburn Hills or Michigan”.


Bloomberg News reports that Marchionne said the board and some of his functions needed to be in London; the merged automaker would avoid paying corporate tax in the US and, though it is not known how many employees will be London-based, US employment would be little affected.

The DetNews reports that Fiat, Italy’s largest manufacturer, was reducing its reliance on its home country after buying full control of Chrysler in January 2014. The Turin-based company will have its main stock listing in New York, rather than Milan,  and would be registered in The Netherlands.


Wolkonowicz said: “London is a financial capital and centrally among Fiat Chrysler’s far-flung operations. It also avoids potential fall-out from choosing Chrysler’s base in Michigan over Turin. If you put it in Detroit, you make Fiat people feel bad, in Turin Chrysler people feel bad. This way it’s neutral.”

Reports add that Fiat stood to benefit from the UK’s corporate tax rate declining to 20% in 2015 from 21%. Income from patents will eventually be as low as 10%, offering potential for additional relief. By comparison, Italy’s corporate rate is 31.4%.

It also means the US government will lose corporate tax revenue after spending about the equivalent of R76.7-billion to bail out the country’s third-biggest carmaker.

Fiat says it will maintain its manufacturing position in Italy and has plans to expand production of Maserati and Alfa Romeo products in its historical home.

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