Fiat SpA and Chrysler Group LLC CEO Sergio Marchionne on Friday proposed a joint venture with Chrysler to build Alfa Romeo and Jeep brand vehicles at Turin’s Mirafiori auto plant.
However, he said he needed union cooperation to make the factory more competitive.
The proposal marks the first significant step toward integration in Europe between the Italian and US automakers since Fiat took control of Chrysler with a 20 percent stake in June last year.
In the US, Fiat has launched the iconic, subcompact 500 and has started to build engines with Fiat technology at US plants.
Marchionne made the proposal during ongoing talks with Mirafiori unions seeking more flexible work rules, as Fiat is doing at all its Italian plants as a condition for a 20 billion euros (US$26.64 billion) investment to increase production at the underutilized factories.
Under the proposal, Fiat and Chrysler would invest a total 1 billion euros in the Mirafiori plant, proportional to the volumes produced by each brand. Mirafiori would produce up to 280,000 cars — including Jeep and Alfa Romeo brands — a year by 2012, more than half for export, especially to North America, Fiat said. That compares with 178,000 last year.
“The consensus of the unions and workers is indispensable to assure the necessary level of competitiveness,” Fiat said at a statement.
Fiat is seeking more flexibility in production and work rules.
Marchionne pointed out in a talk show appearance last month that Italy ranks 118th in competitiveness out of 139 countries.
Fiat already has won more flexibility at the Pomigliano plant near Naples, including 18 shifts a week and greater autonomy when dealing with labor issues. As a result, it agreed this summer to go ahead with a 700 million euros investment to repatriate the new Panda from a plant in Poland.
Fiat is seeking deals at the other plants in the coming weeks, but Mirafiori would be an important breakthrough.
The Mirafiori plan would help Fiat reach a milestone to raise its share of Chrysler by providing a way to improve Chrysler sales internationally.
Mirafiori produces Fiat branded Punto, Idea and Multipla vehicles, the Lanca Musa and the Alfa Romeo Mito.
ELECTRIC FARMLAND: TSMC’s proposal to clear 230 hectares of reforested land for what would become Taiwan’s largest photovoltaic solar farm has generated concerns New rules curbing solar farms built on agricultural land sparked fierce debate at a packed public hearing at the Legislative Yuan yesterday, with industry representatives saying that the new restrictions would endanger President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) green energy goals, while agricultural officials emphasized the importance of protecting farmers and the environment. The Tsai administration has set a target to generate 20 percent of the nation’s power from renewable sources by 2025, by which time it also aims to install 20 gigawatts (GW) of solar power, including 6GW from rooftop solar systems and 14GW from ground-mounted solar farms. Although rooftop solar systems are
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday posted monthly revenue that suggested second-quarter sales surpassed analysts’ estimates, underscoring how its technological lead is helping the chipmaker weather the COVID-19 pandemic and US sanctions on its second-biggest customer Huawei Technologies Co (華為). Apple Inc’s main iPhone chipmaker posted sales of NT$120.88 billion (US$4.08 billion) for last month, up 40.8 percent year-on-year and bringing its revenue for the second quarter to NT$310.7 billion, beating the NT$308.8 billion analysts expected on average. TSMC, a barometer for the industry thanks to its heft in the global supply chain, had previously lowered its revenue outlook for this
Record heat is bringing record electricity use this month, after peak electricity consumption yesterday broke all historical records, Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) said. As the mercury spiked close to 39°C, Taiwan’s electricity consumption reached as high as 37.79 gigawatts (GW) at 1:59pm yesterday, higher than the previous record of 37.53GW, seen just a day prior, the state-run utility said. The top 10 peak consumption records have all occurred in the past three years, Taipower said. As the high temperatures are likely to continue this summer, more records might be set, it said. However, Taipower assured people that there is so far no
BIODEGRADABLE POLYMER: The bank said that its iPass credit card, the first such card issued by a foreign bank, gives it access to stores that do not accept its credit cards DBS Bank Taiwan (星展台灣) yesterday launched its first co-branded credit card with iPass Corp (一卡通票證), and said it expects its credit card business to fully recover in the second half of this year. The new “DBS eco card” is made of polylactic acid — a bio-based biodegradable polymer that can be produced from renewable resources — and is the bank’s first credit card to have the iPass electronic payment function, it said. The partnership would give the bank new business momentum, DBS Bank Taiwan general manager Lim Him-chuan (林鑫川) told a news conference in Taipei. That is because some stores and supermarkets in