Bloomberg News

Fiat Ready to Take Advantage of Economic Crisis, Chairman Says

October 01, 2011

Oct. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Fiat SpA, Italy’s biggest automaker, is ready to take advantage of any opportunities that may arise from the current economic crisis, Chairman John Elkann said.

“Crises are good times to recalculate priorities and grab opportunities like we did in 2008-2009 with Chrysler,” Elkann told reporters today at a conference in Courmayeur, Italy. “We are ready to take hold of any opportunities that may come up.”

Fiat gained control of Chrysler Group LLC as part of the U.S. automaker’s 2009 bankruptcy reorganization. Fiat was downgraded by Moody’s Investors Service on Sept. 21 on concerns about increasing competition and that the combination with Chrysler will leave it responsible for the U.S. automaker’s debt. Fiat’s European market share through August shrank to 7.3 percent from 8.2 percent a year earlier as deliveries plunged.

The company hasn’t made a decision yet on which car models to make at its Mirafiori plant near Turin, Italy, after Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne said in August that he may change production plans for the plant.

“We’re still working on the plan,” Elkann said, declining to give details.

--With assistance from Tommaso Ebhardt in Milan. Editors: Torrey Clark, Steve Bailey

To contact the reporters on this story: Alessandra Migliaccio in Rome at amigliaccio@bloomberg.net; Chiara Remondini in Milan at cremondini@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net


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