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Fiat, Chrysler get investment ultimatum from Italy gov’t

Monday, September 17, 2012 | 11:10 AM    

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ROME, Italy (AP) — Two Italian Cabinet ministers have demanded that carmaker Fiat, which controls Chrysler, clarify its plans for investments in Italian plants amid mounting concern over possible closures.

Economic Development Minister Corrado Passera said the government isn’t interfering in Fiat’s decision-making but that its concern is justified, given Fiat’s importance in Italy. He criticised what he called a series of “too many unclear and unintelligible communiques” concerning Fiat’s future.

Labour Minister Elsa Fornero said she had approached Fiat for a meeting, reminding the automaker it had a responsibility to its workers, not just shareholders.

Italy’s largest employer reiterated Thursday that it would provide details about its plans during an earnings call October 30. Sales in Italy, Fiat’s main market in Europe, dropped by 20 per cent in the first six months of 2012.

Chrysler Group LLC is an American-based, multinational automaker, in global strategic alliance with its majority owner, Italian manufacturer Fiat, since 2009.

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