Fiat's CEO hopes you'll take a 500 home (Photo : Reuters)
Fiat S.p.A. is looking to American buyers to shore up its precarious financial position and keep its workers in jobs.
Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat and Chrysler Group LLC, told reporters last week that his company may have to close one of its Italian factories, the Detroit News reported.
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"There is at least one extra car plant in Italy," Mr Marchionne said. "(But) if we manage to utilize the capacity to export to the U.S., this issue will disappear."
According to figures released in June by the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA), car sales in general in Italy decreased 18.9 percent from January to May.
According to the Detroit News, car sales fell 24 percent last month from June of last year, and Fiat's fell 23 percent.
Fiat has been beset for more than two years by layoffs, threats of more layoffs, union disputes, and production delays. Last year, the plant closed its Termini Imerese plant in Sicily and sold it to Chinese carmaker Chery.
Earlier this year, Fiat announced that it would put off production of a compact SUV (referred to pre-production as the "B-SUV" and now slated for production in 2014). The company also announced that it would delay a $1.3 billion expansion of its Mirafiori plant, near Turin. The plan would have greatly increased the plant's production capability.