Lunedì, 22 Ottobre 2018
MELFI

Fiat confirms 2012 net profit, announces investment plans

English
© ANSA

Melfi, December 20 - Fiat SpA Chief Executive
Sergio Marchionne on Thursday confirmed the company would end
the year with some 1.2 billion euros in net profits and
presented a new investment plan for a key factory in Melfi, near
Naples.
Speaking to reporters at an event attended also by Fiat
Chairman John Elkann and Italian Premier Mario Monti, among
others, Marchionne said the company - sustained by profits from
its U.S. unit Chrysler and from Brazil - would reach ''break
even'' in its loss-making Italian and European operations in
''three to four years.''
The company is making major investments in the Melfi plant,
where it has produced some 5.5 million cars - including the
Lancia Ypsilon and Fiat Punto compacts - and where it is
currently producing the third generation Punto.
New investments in Melfi - the first of a series that will
include other Italian factories, Marchionne said - will lead to
the production of two, new mini-SUVs, bearing the Fiat and Jeep
brands.
Jeep is a wholly-owned brand of Chrysler.
Speaking after Marchionne, Monti said: ''I hope that
investments for other Fiat factories in Italy will take place
soon. Marchionne's words about this being the first of a long
series of investments (in Italy) are well impressed in my
mind.''
The Fiat chief executive, who has been battling poor
productivity and weak sales in Fiat's home market, said the
decision to make further investments in Italy was courageous.
''We chose the road of courage in a moment of crisis,''
Marchionne said of the company's plans to increase investments
in Melfi, opened in 1993 and where the company employs some
5,550 workers.
The company is taking risks by attempting to increase its
returns by investing in higher value cars, moving away from its
core business of compact, utility cars like the Punto and Panda.
''We have chosen to move away from the mass market and go
and compete in the high end of the market. We have all the
possibilities and the means to do it,'' Marchionne said
referring to Fiat's ownership of high-end brands like Alfa
Romeo, Maserati and Ferrari.
Marchionne has said his plans for re-launching the Fiat
group include massive investments in Maserati and Alfa Romeo,
which is due to make a return to the U.S. market in 2014.

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