Fiat applauds Brazil incentives, heats up Italy govt spat

'Brazil offers incentives for automakers'

Fiat applauds Brazil incentives, heats up Italy govt spat

(ANSA) - Rome, September 21 – Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne on Friday said Italy's largest carmaker found investing in Brazil attractive because of the incentives offered by local authorities, heating up a spat with the Italian government that began last week when the industrial group said it was backing down from previously announced local investment plans. Marchionne was responding to comments made by Italian Industry Minister Corrado Passera who on Thursday asked for clarity on the company’s intentions in terms of investments in Italy. Passera "will surely have noticed the Brazilian government is particularly sensitive to issues in the car industry," Marchionne said. "I am sure the minister knows that automakers that go and produce in Brazil are offered financing and fiscal incentives". His remarks came a day before a clutch meeting with the Italian government to discuss the company's future in Italy. Saturday's meeting was scheduled after Fiat last week said its expansion plans in Italy had been superseded by negative economic circumstances and a collapse in car sales that brought the local market to 1970s levels. Fiat went on to say it was not in a position to enact investments drawn up more than two years ago, in a different economic climate. When Fiat's Fabbrica Italia business plan was first introduced as a concept in 2010 it involved planned investments of some 20 billion euros. The company said it would announce its new business plan in October this year. Fiat has since announced temporary layoffs at its Melfi, Cassino and Sevel di Val di Sangro factories. The last one, which produces the Fiorino commercial van, is the only one to date not to have been involved in production limitations.

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