Unstable Italy prompts Fiat move

2011-11-18 09:13

TOLDEO, Italy — Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne says the political crisis in Italy will make it more likely that the group's HQ will relocate to Michigan in the US.

Controversial Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi resigned on Saturday (November 12) as his country struggled to approve a package of austerity measures mandated by the European Union.

According to the Detroit News, Marchionne said the unstable situation in Italy had promoted the Italian automaker to consider other countries as a base of operations.

Fiat was given control of Chrysler, the Det News recalled, by the Obama administration after the struggling automaker declared bankruptcy in 2009 as a condition for a state bale-out. Marchionne has since assumed direct responsibility for the two companies' operations in North America but will most likely move its headquaters from Turin, Italy to Michigan.


Marchionne said in the DetNews: "I would be lying to you if I told you it didn't. One of the things we're looking at is the question of stability and governability. That's not to say that the current situation would force us to move from Italy. That's not the intention. We're committed to the industrial backbone of the country."

The new Italian premier, Mario Monti, formed a government made up entirely of business leaders and diplomats to lead the country out of its current economic crisis, the DetNews added.

Marchionne said: "I'm confident now that with the changes that just happened, especially at the Italian political level, that we're going to start moving forward again.

"Monti has the international credibility to get traction pretty quickly."