Fiat Chrysler Will Have 'Neutral Ground' in New London Headquarters

May 09, 2014 02:53 PM EDT | Jordan Ecarma


Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will find middle ground with new headquarters in London, Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne said Thursday.

The recently merged automaker comprises Fiat, which is based in Turin, Italy, and Chrysler, headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich.

"Headquarters will be in London," Marchionne told journalists during a press conference at Chrysler's headquarters, according to Reuters. "It's clear that group executive functions, the board, my office, some of my functions, need to operate out of London, but that doesn't mean that I'm giving up my operational responsibilities of the U.S. We will be multi-faceted ... we will do stuff everywhere."

Fiat, which took over Chrysler in a $4.5 billion deal completed in January, has been planning to establish a base in London for a while to save on taxes, Bloomberg reported.

Besides benefiting from a corporate tax rate that will fall to 20 percent next year, Fiat Chrysler will avoid any backlash from choosing Michigan instead of Turin or vice versa.

"If you put it in Detroit, you make Fiat people feel bad, and if it's in Turin, you make Chrysler people feel bad," independent auto analyst John Wolkonowicz told Bloomberg. "This way it's neutral ground."

Earlier this week, Fiat Chrysler outlined an ambitious five-year plan for expansion across the company, including a $2.8-billion revamp of the luxury Maserati brand. The automaker is looking to more than double profit and grow deliveries by 61 percent in the next five years.

Fiat Chrysler stock fell around 12 percent on Wednesday when analysts and investors questioned the company's ability to follow through on the challenging $67 billion expansion outlined by Marchionne.

The chief executive said that shareholders "overreacted" by hastily selling off Fiat Chrysler stock.

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