Fiat SpA (IW 1000/48) intends to maintain operations at its Italian plants, CEO Sergio Marchionne told union representatives on Tuesday, easing concern that erupted over the issue in September.
A meeting between Marchionne and union delegates "confirmed that Fiat does not intend to shut Italian factories," said Luigi Angeletti, secretary general of the Uil union.
Last month, Fiat shocked Italian workers by confirming that it would abandon the strategy of "Fabbrica Italia," or the Italian Factory, without saying what would take its place.
The plan was first unveiled in April 2010, and foresees investments of 20 billion euros ($26 billion) by 2014, and the production of 1.4 million vehicles in the country.
But Italy's economic crisis has pushed new-car sales in the country to its lowest level in four decades, and Fiat increasingly relies on profits at its U.S. unit Chrysler to parry losses at home.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012