MILAN, ITALY: Fiat said on Wednesday (4 September) it will invest €1.0bn at its Turin plant to make Maseratis, easing fears that Fiat is lowering its role in Italy.
Fiat's chief executive Sergio Marchionne said the company will immediately launch the investment plan needed to ensure the production at the Mirafiori plant.
In return for the investment, trade unions said they would support the collective contract proposed by the company which toughens working conditions. The union said the contract was an unavoidable condition for Fiat's commitment to Italy.
But the Fiom-Cgil metal workers' union, which is in a long-running dispute with Fiat, did not agree to it.
Luigi Angeletti, leader of the Uil trade union, said the investment would allow work to start immediately on the 4x4 Maseratis.
"We will have to change our production line to produce a very different type of car," he said, adding that the actual cars would be built from next year.
Giuseppe Farina, another trade unionist from Fim-Cisl, said it was good news for Fiat employees and for Italian industry.
"This returns future and hope to many employees and to the country's car manufacturing industry," he said.
Fiat is Italy's biggest private sector employer and is regularly accused by critics of planning to leave the country following its merger with US company Chrysler.
Source: AFP via I-Net Bridge