Fiat will delay disclosing future production plans in Italy, reports say
MILAN (Reuters) -- Fiat will delay disclosing plans for the future of its Italian factories when it reports results at the end of next month, two newspapers said on Monday.
Fiat plans to release new financial targets on October 30, when it approves its third-quarter results, but newspapers La Repubblica and Il Giornale both said that investment plans for the Italian factories will not be released on that date since they were already outlined to the Italian government at a meeting with Prime Minister Mario Monti on Saturday.
"The board on October 30 will examine third-quarter results but will not say anything about the future production of the five Italian factories," La Repubblica said.
The paper said Fiat's investment plans are on hold until 2014 when CEO Sergio Marchionne thinks the European car market could show signs of recovery."
A company spokesman declined to comment on the reports.
Marchionne and Fiat Chairman John Elkann outlined the automaker's market forecasts and future plans when they met Monti in Rome on Saturday.
Fiat did not ask the government for financial aid or extra cash for a state-funded layoff program during the meeting, Monti said on Monday. "Financial aid was not asked for, and had it been requested it would not have been given," he said at a conference in Rome.
The government instead will seek "to create the conditions and the context that allow it to safeguard the industrial presence of Fiat in Italy," Monti said.
A joint statement from Fiat and the government on Saturday said the automaker plans to re-orient its business model in Italy "to focus on exports, particularly outside of Europe."
That means, a person familiar with the situation said, Fiat could focus on possibly making Jeep and Chrysler models for export.
At the meeting, Fiat outlined its forecasts for the Italian and European markets and focused on the strategic prospects offered by its integration with Chrysler.
Fiat has been badly hit by slumping sales in Europe, particularly in southern European markets. Sales of Fiat Group vehicles fell 17.7 percent last month in EU and EFTA countries, cutting Fiat's market share to 5.2 percent from 5.8 percent. The total market was down 8.5 percent.
Marchionne has postponed the launch of its new Punto compact to 2015 as part of an investment freeze due to the weak European market.
Automotive News Europe contributed to this reportContact Automotive News