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The head of Fiat Chrysler says Italy should decide if it wants to be part of the Alfa Romeo relaunch, threatening that alternative production locations are available.

The comments from Sergio Marchionne come on the back of a decision by Fiat to put on hold a two billion euro ($2.85 billion) investment plan for its Italian manufacturing operations.

The move, which risks the production of future Alfa Romeo and Maserati models in their traditional home of Italy, has been made in a bid to have the Italian government alter industry reforms.

Alfa-Romeo-4C-launch-edition-front-side1

Bloomberg reports that Fiat has threatened to move production of new Alfa Romeo models out of Italy as the Turin-based company struggles with local labour laws and underutilised factories.

Despite the Italian investment plan being halted, Marchionne said the relaunch of Alfa Romeo would definitely continue.

“For sure,” he said.

“Italy should decide if they want it to happen here or not as Fiat and Chrysler have several alternatives.”

Maserati-Ghibli-3

Marchionne says Fiat needs “clear and reliable rules” before investing further in Italian-based projects, including the production of new models at its main Mirafiori plant in Turin.

Expressing his desire to tackle the likes of BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz, the CEO said, “We want to disturb the idyllic environment they’ve created for themselves”.

“The only weapon we have is to get a slice of the high-end market, which we haven’t been able to tackle in the past because of laziness or inability – leaving our German friends alone.”

While the Maserati Ghibli and Alfa Romeo 4C are due to launch in Europe this year and arrive in Australia in 2014, the investment pause puts into question the group’s production plans for 11 new models, including the Alfa Romeo Giulia sedan and Maserati Levante SUV.




  • $29896495

    It’s happening everywhere

    • Bruce

      It has already started. The Industrial Revolution that made Europe and America rich has left and moved to Asia where all manufacturing is and will be happening. The “older” First World will be the drawing rooms, the ideas laboratories, the board rooms where new products and ideas will be hatched, engineered, and brought to life. But PRODUCTION? Thats China, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, and when these Asian countries become the next idea labs? – production will move to Africa.

      • Billy

        It is already happening in China. Wages are rising quickly (From a very, very low base), so they are becoming less competitive and their work force has already started to shrink because of the 1 child policy… Production is being moved to Thailand and Africa to try and reduce costs. Crazy times.

  • filippo

    I realise that globalisation is necessary in this industry, however part of me will weep when I start seeing Alfa Romeo badges on conservatively-designed automatic SUVs.

  • Andy Whitby

    I wonder if people will bad the Fiat/Group for playing the same card GM Holden is.

    Both are asking for clear, precise government policies, with Government co-investment.

    I do wonder if the Italian public whine about supporting their local industry like we do ? Or if they understand that co-investment is just that.

    I don’t have a problem with it at all, for example, even if the rumored $500 million ask from Holden is true, its over 10 years. If you do the sums that’s $50 million/year to keep local manufacturing, design and engineering. I do honesty believe the return per year in just PAYG tax from Holden’s employees would be more then that ! Led alone the return to the economy from sales, exports, service and parts. I do wonder if this argument has to be made in Italy?

    • $29896495

      Operative word is “THEIR”. What started out as ours, is now GMs. The sad part is Ford have been building (assembling) cars here for almost 100 years and they are going.

      Bucket loads of money to bribe the conglomerates to stay is counter productive. We need to develop our own car again,

  • Elitist

    OK so pay back the decades of bailout money you got from the Italian Government if
    you want to do that.

    Globalisation kills the soul of brands.