Italian carmaker Fiat will invest 3.3 billion reals (about $US1.2 billion) in Brazil to the end of 2006 as part of a worldwide restructuring plan, chief executive Giuseppe Morchio said in Brazil on Thursday.

According to Dow Jones, local newspaper Valor Economico reported that Morchio said Fiat has already trimmed 11,000 jobs and closed or started to close eight plants as part of the restructuring. The company has yet to announce 1,300 more job cuts and the closure of four more plants, Morchio reportedly said.

But no plants will be shut in Brazil, the report said, noting that the South Ameican operation, Fiat’s largest outside Italy, accounts for 7% of worldwide sales.

Fiat’s car division posted an operating loss of €979 million in 2003, Dow Jones said.