• Mar 31, 2011
Muammar Gaddafi has been running the show in Libya for the last 42 years. During that time, he's also been behind the investment maneuvers of the Libyan Arab Foreign Bank. In 1976, he reportedly instructed that $415 million be used to buy a stake in Fiat. Over time, that investment has turned into a 14 percent ownership stake in the Italian automaker.

Fast-forward a bit to the 1980s and Fiat was looking to do business around the globe. That included the United States, but, due to our sanctions against Libya, any attempts to work with the U.S. were quickly shot down. This led Fiat to buy out Libya's 14 percent ownership stake, and it wound up costing them $3.1 billion to do so.

According to Fiat, the connection to Libya ended when it cut that massive check. However, according to information obtained by Wikileaks, Libya may still own a small portion of the company. That information is supplied courtesy of the U.S. State Department, which maintains that the Libyan Arab Foreign Investment Company (LAFICO) owns a two percent stake in Fiat.

Head over to The Truth About Cars for a detailed breakdown of the possibly-still-existing relationship between Fiat and besieged dictator Gaddafi.

[Source: The Truth About Cars | Image: Franco Origlia/Getty]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 42 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      He's planted seeds everywhere around the globe...how do you expect him to stay in place for 42 years without deep contacts here and there. Most of those we'd rather not know about...
      • 3 Years Ago
      I've got dibs on his halloween costume when he's ousted.
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Emperor lives. Der-der-der-daa-did-daa-daa-did-daa....He hit *every* branch on the way down.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Awesome, Chrysler has a new tag line: Chrysler, made possible by a dictator near you.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Cocaines a hell of a drug
        • 3 Years Ago
        The perfect villain, those spoilt hollywood actors should take notice, amazing mimic!
        • 3 Years Ago
        He actually looks like an extra from the movie "The Good The Bad and The Ugly" and maybe he needs an EX-LAX.
        • 3 Years Ago

        +1 for the Rick James quote
        • 3 Years Ago
        He definitely does look like he has substance abuse problems.
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is crazy. We make Nissan and other commercials, but car makers do have a long history.

      CarDealersTV.com
      • 3 Years Ago
      oh Gaddafi.....
      • 3 Years Ago
      Yes there is, a Fiat ran over his face!
        • 3 Years Ago
        Re Rich - you forgot Harry Potter!

        Of course he's done a lot more, sorry I didn't have he's CV in front of me at the time of writing my off the cuff remark and that it has offended you so much.
        • 3 Years Ago
        he is one of the most pissed out looking/ just plain unattractive people i've ever seen.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I was thinking robert Downey Jr. with some makeup to make him look older.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Time for a caption contest.
        • 3 Years Ago
        "On the next Celebrity Apprentice..." ;-)
        • 3 Years Ago
        Is it me, I reckon he looks like the Actor Alan Rickman out of Die Hard, either that or the 'Tramadol' hasn't kicked in yet.
      • 3 Years Ago
      isn't his name spelled ' G a d h a f i '?
        • 3 Years Ago
        perfectly correct would be "Muʿammar al-Qaddhāfī" – but as with all arab names, there are several spellings around. "Gaddafi" is a common one here in Germany and should fit into Italian spelling as well (which might explain it's use here).

        About this case: Who knows, who are the "private investors" in any industry company? For sure Fiat isn't what made Gaddafi rich - it's the oil. The same oil, which keeps the country with the least religious freedom anywhere on this planet at life.
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is just funny lol.
      • 3 Years Ago
      VW had connections with Hitler

      Mitsubishi planes bombed Pearl Harbor

      Henry Ford was said to be Anti-Semitic.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Henry Ford was anti-Semitic. Subaru was formed from a company (Nakajima) that built as many or more war planes than Mitsubishi. The USS Arizona was destroyed by a bomb dropped from a Nakajima B5N naval torpedo and level bomber. That particular plane was used in the level bomber role and carried and 800Kg naval artillery shell reconfigured as a bomb with a finned tail section for stability. It penetrated the ships deck and blew up in the forward magazine, setting off a tremendous explosion which blew the ship apart.

        It's good to know history, but I'm not going to avoid buying a Subaru or Mitsubishi product because of this. Nor would I avoid a FIAT product because some tin pot dictator's bank bought some shares. "Truth" About Cars ran this story without any verification (and they admitted they had none) because they wanted to make you think that FIAT, and by extension Chrysler, is in the grips of Gadaffi. The real truth about the "Truth" About Cars is that they don't like Chrysler. If you go to their site and look up all the Chrysler postings for last year or two, other than car reviews, you will not find ONE posting that says something positive about the company. I don't know what the problem is. Maybe the guys dog was run over by a Chrysler. Beats me.
      • 3 Years Ago
      There may be, but Audi, BMW and Benz have a link to Hitler. Heck, BMW used slave labor.

      Ford has a link to HENRY FORD, we know what he was all about.

      Mazda builds cars in Iran that are run by Basij, we can go on and on and on.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Sea Urchin - True both Ferdinand Porsche for building Tanks and Citroen for collaborating spent time banged up after WW2 for a short time.

        No one in the West is innocent of not sleeping with enemy, sometimes there is little choice, its either that or have another Iraq or Afghanistan.

        One of his top senior ministers has defected and come to Britain to plead his innocence today. Despite assurance from our government that he will be answerable for his crimes in the past against the West, like Lockerbie, we all know a back room deal will be done and all he will get is a couple of years in the slammer and a slap on the wrists.

        Ps Urchin - lol , I am a Englishman with all his own teeth! though I admit that is a rarity amonst my fellow countrymen!
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Frank

        No he is not.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I know this guy who works at a Ford dealership who's mean to his dog.

        Car companies are so huge that they're linked to nearly everything.

        Hyundai got rich by doing all the hard construction work in the middle east like developing oil fields.

        Honda hoped that he would get bombed in WWII so bombers would fly nearby and release their spent fuel tanks. He would melt down the tanks to make more stuff.

        Lotus is owned by Proton, which is a Malaysian company.

        Toyota and Fuji Heavy Industries jointly own Subaru. Fuji heavy builds parts for modern boeing planes.

        Toyota owns part of Yamaha, which got in trouble for selling restricted technology to chinese nationals a few years back. Et. al

        Just buy the car you like.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I believe we're discussing current connections, not historical connections.
        • 3 Years Ago
        some have learned, some have not.
        Daimler for example is still heavily involved in military vehciles and weapons (EADS).
        VW, Porsche and BMW on the other hand have learned their lessons.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Sea Urchin

        You know what? That really pisses me off! Henry Ford paid people double and triple wager! Hired minorities! Taught people english on his OWN dime! Henry Ford is without a doubt a main factor for the industrial revolution which gave birth of the power of the United States though manufacturing.

        Do you REALLY think a guy that wants everyone to learn, be paid well and is directly related to building the power behind the country that defeated Hitler be a person that would finance or do anything to support the very person that goes against his own beliefs?

        That's like spreading a bet on every possible number on a roulette table! You're not gonna win! Ever!

        We're not talking OJ here that has a record of abuse! We're talking Henry Ford that has the exact opposite a record than you imply!

        Grow up! Learn something!
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Sea Urchin

        You're wreckless with your comments!

        Ford (including Henry Ford) as has been stated by the company and verified by independent researches had NO CONTROL OVER THEIR FACILITIES IN THAT REGION DURING THE HITLER ERA!

        That's like saying just because some a-hole uses your account to post wreckless posts on autoblog that you're a complate shyt stain! Well that's stands true but someone hijacking your account wouldn't mean you had anything to do with that particular set of posts!

        You should REALLY check your facts before you make statements!
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Sea Urchin,

        You are clueless!
        • 3 Years Ago
        Typical America!! Pick and choose your beliefs, develop laws to abide...and then ignore them at your convenience.

        Had VW and Fiat partnered up to sell in the US and it became known that Gaddafi still owned a chunk of Fiat...the USA spec'd 500 would be sitting on the ports in Italy waiting for the next European flea market sale.

        But wait... it's CHRYSLER and Fiat that are in cahoots!! Well then that's A-Okay. Bring us your Fiats and we'll send you & Gadaffi some profits to purchase WMD and drive up oil prices.

        Sniff Sniff... smells like so many back-arseward clandestine US operations....
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