North American gov't leaders court Fiat for Alfa Romeo plant

With Fiat preparing to bring some of its products to the American market, local government leaders have been hard at work courting CEO Sergio Marchionne to produce vehicles in their state or province. Marchionne declared in March that with the weak American dollar, his company would have to strongly consider local production for sales in North America.

Among those politicians who have reached out to Fiat, congressional representatives from the states of Kentucky and Georgia have met with executives from the Italian auto giant to discuss the possibility of opening plants in their districts. However the premier of Ontario seemed to take it one step further by flying to Italy to meet with Marchionne, who himself was raised in the same Canadian province. After General Motors announced the closure of two plants in the past couple of months, Ontario is keen to find tenants for the abandoned facilities. Marchionne, meanwhile, has expressed interest in producing in Mexico, allowing Fiat to extend its operations in Latin America northward to support its foray into the North American market.

As for distribution, while Fiat already networks established for its Case New Holland agricultural equipment division, as well as for its top-end brands Ferrari and Maserati. However Fiat is likely to set up separate distribution channels for Alfa Romeo and, if and when the day comes, the Fiat 500.

[Sources: Reuters and the Toronto Star via Italiaspeed]

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