Fiat CEO vows to keep Alfa Romeo production in Italy

Marchionne tells FT Italy is key for Maserati too

Fiat CEO vows to keep Alfa Romeo production in Italy

Turin, September 16 - Production of Alfa Romeo and Maserati automobiles will never be transferred from Italy, Fiat Group CEO Sergio Marchionne said in an interview published Monday. The head of the parent company for both premium Italian car brands explained that the luxury goods cache' of being made in Italy is too important for both. ''There is not a doubt in my mind that the origin of production is important to Maserati. I also think it's important for Alfa,'' Marchionne told the Financial Times. ''We will never build outside (Italy)...It may well be the next CEO that makes that call (to build elsewhere). But it's not me,'' Marchionne said. In July Marchionne threatened to have new Alfa Romeo models produced outside Italy as he complained about industrial relations in Italy, amid a bitter row with left-wing union FIOM, which opposes the carmaker's drive to introduce more flexible work practises at Fiat's Italian plants. The Fiat Group on September 4 announced a deal with unions to invest just under one billion euros to retool the loss-making Mirafiori plant to produce a Maserati SUV and another unnamed model there. The plans are part of Fiat's strategy to focus Italian manufacturing on premium cars, and follow investment in another plant near Turin to make Maserati Quattroporte and Ghibli models.

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