Fiat opens plant for Maserati models, approves 2012 results
ROME (dpa) – Fiat on Wednesday opened a new plant for the manufacture of Maserati sport cars near its headquarters in Turin, Italy.
“We have a serious commitment,” Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said at the plant in Grugliasco, confirming that the company does not intend to close down any of its factories in Italy.
The company has been hard hit by falling sales in recession-hit Europe. Marchionne wants to build more luxury cars, which are more profitable, in a bid to turn the company’s fortunes around.
Fiat took over the plant from Bertone coachworks in 2009 and completely overhauled to produce the Quattroporte saloon and a new smaller model, the Ghibli.
Fiat’s board of directors was expected to approve full-year and fourth quarter results for 2012 on Wednesday.
“The results are in line with expectations. The group is healthy,” Marchionne said.
In the third quarter, the Fiat Group posted a 286-million-euro (386-million dollar) profit. But accounts were kept in the black by strong performances in Brazil and in the United States, where the company controls Chrysler.
On its core European market, Fiat is not expected to make profits before 2015-2016, Marchionne said in Grugliasco. In 2012, European sales for the group were down 16.1 per cent compared to a year earlier.
Fiat’s range includes the Alfa Romeo, Lancia and Abarth brands, as well as Ferrari and Maserati. Chrysler also sells cars under the Jeep, Dodge and Ram brands.