Fiat boss calls on Italian politicians to overcome impasse

Marchionne says won't change investment plan unless euro exit

Fiat boss calls on Italian politicians to overcome impasse

Geneva, March 5 - FIAT CEO Sergio Marchionne on Tuesday called on Italian lawmakers to reconcile their differences and form a government in the interests of the greater good after the country's general election failed to produce a clear winner. ''Political uncertainty creates market uncertainty, which doesn't help people who, like us, need to sell cars,'' Marchionne said at the Geneva motor show. ''It is necessary to have the certainty that Italy will be politically and institutionally stable, and right now we don't have that certainty. ''We have a great opportunity to find a solution so the country can move forward. ''These are not easy choices. Parties and movements must find common ground around a clear objective, that of managing the country''. Marchionne said that the carmaker had no immediate intention of changing its investment plans for Italy after the country's general election was inconclusive. ''We will continue to invest in Italy no matter how unstable its political situation, unless the government takes a drastic decision such as leaving the euro,'' Marchionne said. Beppe Grillo, whose anti-establishment 5-Star Movement rocked the political establishment with a stunning showing in the election, has proposed holding a referendum on whether Italy should keep having the euro as its currency. Marchionne, who is also the CEO of Chrysler, said that he expected more of the same in 2013 in terms of sales. Chrysler's strong showing on the United States market last year helped make up for Fiat's declining sales on the crisis-hit European market. ''For us, 2013 will be much like 2012, with improved results thanks to increased sales in the US. The aim is to sell 4.3-4.4 million vehicles, compared to 4.2 million cars in 2012,'' Marchionne said. ''We are not altering our 2013 targets because we have not changed our market expectations, even though the first quarter will be difficult,'' Marchionne explained.

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