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Fiat to develop plants in Italy over next 24-36 months

Third-quarter results lower expected earnings in 2012

Fiat to develop plants in Italy over next 24-36 months

Turin, October 30 - Italian automaker Fiat said on Tuesday that numerous works are planned to develop their plants throughout the country over the next 24 to 36 months, squelching widespread claims that the carmaker was neglecting its homeland. The group announced third-quarter sales of over one million vehicles, an 11% increase compared to the same period in 2011, but revised production volume for 2014, lowering the original 6 million vehicle target to 4.6 - 4.8 million. However, the company said that 17 new models will be produced in factories throughout Italy between 2013 and 2016, and that it will keep its four Italian plants operating. In September, Fiat told the government that it would remain in Italy but could not invest in plants or products as previously announced until the market was right. The company, whose sales have been in decline amid a shrinking European automotive market and an ongoing recession in Italy, has been criticized for revising plans to invest around 20 billion euros in Italy over a five-year period. Fiat adjusted expected earnings for 2012, down from an expected 104 billion euros to somewhere between 94 to 98 billion euros. The carmaker said that net debt rose in the third quarter by 1.26 billion euros to 6.69 billion euros. The Milan stock market reacted negatively to third-quarter results with Fiat shares dropping 4%.

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