Fiat would benefit from shutting Italian factories: CEO

15:11 | 25/10/2010
The head of Italian industrial giant Fiat said Sunday the company would be better off if it outsourced all of its production from Italy, in comments that risk inflaming tensions with unions.

"Not a cent from the two billion euros of profits forecast for 2010 will be generated in Italy," CEO Sergio Marchionne was quoted as saying in a television interview by ANSA news agency.

"Fiat cannot continue operating these factories at a loss forever," he said.

The industrial group has 188 factories around the world and a global work force of 190,000. It employs more than 80,000 people in Italy, making it the country's largest employer.

"Fiat would be better off if it eliminated Italy. Italy ranks 118th out of 139 countries in work efficiency and is 48th in industrial competitiveness," he said, without citing a source.

"For a long time now, the Italian system has been losing its competitiveness year-by-year, and over the last 10 years it has not kept pace with other countries, but this is not the fault of the workers," he said.

The ambitious Marchionne previously provoked anger among unions over plans to increase productivity, and in September he won shareholder approval to spin off the firm's non-car activities.


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