Rome: Fiat, which has recently taken a controlling stake in Chrysler, called on Thursday for a “serious restructuring” of the auto industry, saying the global crisis has worsened the problem of production overcapacity.
Chief executive Sergio Marchionne held a meeting with the Italian government and unions at the premier’s office in Rome to illustrate the group’s mid-term program. Premier Silvio Berlusconi attended the talks.
Earlier in June Fiat took on most of Chrysler’s assets in exchange for technology and management know-how. The alliance created the sixth largest automaker worldwide, according to Fiat.
“The global crisis has further aggravated the problem of production overcapacity that has been plaguing the automotive industry for years,” said a statement released by Fiat after the talks.“A serious restructuring of the automotive industry is now absolutely necessary if it is to be economically viable.”
Fiat also said that “far-reaching strategic measures are necessary to achieve an adequate level of critical mass, increase volumes produced for each platform and expand geographic presence.” It said the deal with Chrysler was part of that strategic approach.
During the talks, Fiat outlined its production plans in Italian plants. Marchionne called for a concerted effort, saying that “maintaining equilibrium in employment levels in the face of these extremely difficult market conditions is no easy task.”