Fiat announces $1.3B investment to produce SUVs in southern Italy
by The Associated Press
Automaker boss Sergio Marchionne says plan would help staunch losses in Europe
MILAN, Italy—Fiat chief executive Sergio Marchionne has announced a $1.32-billion investment to produce two SUVs at a plant in southern Italy.
In a sign of the importance of the investment, Premier Mario Monti joined Marchionne at the Melfi plant in Basilicata for the announcement.
Marchionne said the plan to build a pair of SUVs—one under the Jeep brand, the other a Fiat—would help the automaker staunch losses in Europe and address the under-utilization of its Italian plants due to the fall-off in demand caused by the economic crisis.
Marchionne, who also runs U.S. carmaker Chrysler, said the Melfi factory would be modernized to reach a daily capacity of 1,600 vehicles.
Monti welcomed the investment as a sign of trust in Italy’s future.