Fiat’s plans to fully merge and integrate with Chrysler over the next three years could see the Italian firm switch its base to America, CEO Sergio Marchionne has revealed.
Speaking at a JD Power industry summit in the US on Friday, Marchionne said: “In the next two or three years, we could be looking at one entity. It could be based here. [We are looking at] alternatives and scenarios. First we need to integrate them [Chrysler and Fiat] operationally and then look at governance.”
But his comments will need explaining in Italy, where ministers have today insisted that Fiat must remain at its Turin base. Welfare minister Maurizio Sacconi wants to meet Marchionne “so as to verify the state of investments in Italy and the prospects of an integration between Fiat and Chrysler”.
Industry minister Paolo Romani said Fiat must remain "an Italian multinational" and “the head of the car maker must remain in Turin”.
Fiat has rushed to clarify Marchionne’s comments, telling Italian media that it would have four management bases in the future: in Turin, Detroit, Brazil and somewhere in Asia, with Turin retaining a central role.