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Fiat has run into resistance from Italian unions in the past, and CEO Sergio Marchionne has been pushing the Fabbrica Italia plan to make things right. The business plan promises to invest in more Italian jobs in exchange for more flexible union deals – a home run for all parties involved, but Italy's cadre of unions have been slow to take Fiat up on its offer.

Automotive News reports that the Turin-based automaker has suspended a $710 million investment in the former Bertone plant after Fiat failed to reach an agreement with the FIOM union that represents the plant. The plant, which Fiat purchased back in 2009, had been earmarked to build the next generation Maserati Quattroporte and a midsized sedan to take on the likes of the BMW 5-Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

A Fiat spokesperson reportedly told AN that FIOM's stance isn't acceptable, adding "right now, the conditions are not there to launch the planned investments." That doesn't mean that a deal is permanently out of the question, but it may give FIOM some motivation to see things Fiat's way. The midsize sedan is scheduled to arrive in Europe early in 2012, followed by the next Quattroporte sometime in 2013.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm am particularly upset with the Italian unions because this plant was scheduled to make a coupe based on the Dodge Challenger RWD platform. I would imagine that this would be the next generation platform extensively modified from the Mercedes derived version now being used on the Challenger. Fiat had plans to lighten and modernize this platform and some were under the impression that a line of coupes would be developed for Dodge and Chrysler for the American market. Chrysler desperately needs a coupe or two in it's lineup and Dodge could use a 2dr Avenger. It had also been speculated that a Quattroporte derived platform would be the basis of a next generation Chrysler Imperial luxury line of sedans and coupes.
      Thanks to the Communist influenced unions, all this may have to be scrapped or likely delayed, until a factory outside of Italy can be found. I'm betting if the unions don't get smart this factory may well be in the USA. Hey that sounds good to me!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I hope that car makes it to the U.S. Seeing that the Quattroporte used now is selling in the mid 40's to high 30's it'd be cool to have this car in a few years (gently pre owned) for an affordable price.....maintenance of course will suck to pay for but hey! I'd be driving a Maseratti
      • 4 Years Ago
      Most people don't understand what business the unions are actually in. It's unequivocally the "dues" business. It's the old Mafia "protection" racket. The rank and file get their raises and reelect the officials. Here's the rip. The market for everything is now global. The manufacturers have to do anything possible to be competitive in this global market, including move labor intensive endeavors offshore if necessary. Labor itself has to compete globally. Is there room in a global business plan for any entity whose sole effect is to raise the cost of production? You tell me.