Fiat will continue to receive EU loan for Serbia plant
MILAN (Reuters) -- The European Investment Bank will continue disbursing a 500 million euro ($625 million) loan to Italian carmaker Fiat for a new plant in Serbia, that builds the 500L minicar, even though the government there has slowed down investment pledged for the factory.
"At the moment we are not aware of any impact on the loan," a spokesman for the EIB told Reuters on Friday.
The subsidized loan, granted by the European Union's finance arm in May 2011, is part of a joint project in the central Serbian city of Kragujevac worth 1 billion and including contributions from the government and Fiat.
While Serbia and Fiat have pledged to pay 500 million euros, the cash-strapped government said on Thursday it will hand over only 55 percent of the 90 million it was due to pay the carmaker this year.
After a recent fact-finding visit by Fiat Vice Chairman Alfredo Altavilla, CEO Sergio Marchionne was expected to visit Serbia on Sept. 4 for further talks.
The plant, which opened on April 14 and is designed to make up to 200,000 cars per year, builds the 500L, a larger five-seat version of the Fiat 500 minicar, scheduled to be launched in Italy and France in September, followed by the rest of Europe in October, with prices starting at 15,550 euros. Sales in North America -- and possibly in Asia -- will begin next year.
Automotive News Europe contributed to this reportContact Automotive News