has called a last-minute unscheduled press conference for 4 pm CET today, where it is understood that Fiat Group Chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo will announce that he is leaving the company. At this time, no official reason has been given for Montezemolo's departure, but it's being reported that he may be mulling a move into politics, possibly to form a new Italian centrist party. Going speculation also has it that Montezemolo will be replaced by current group vice-chairman John Elkann.

Montezemolo's involvement with Fiat goes back to the early-1970s when he was a manager at the Ferrari Formula One team. After leaving the team he eventually returned to take over the CEO role at Ferrari and led the company through a period of major growth and expansion. Montezemolo will apparently remain on Fiat's board of directors.

Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne will also hold a presentation tomorrow to discuss Fiat's strategy going forward including its U.S. plans and a possible spin-off of the car business from the rest of the group.

[Sources: Just-Auto, Financial Times | Image: Thomas Lohnes/AFP/Getty]

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