A member of the Agnelli family, which controls struggling Italian car maker Fiat has played down speculation about a new plan to rescue the industrial group said to have been put together by Italian entrepreneur Roberto Colaninno, according to a Reuters report.


Reuters said that, amid reports that Colaninno had presented an eight billion euro ($US8.4 billion) plan to the Agnellis, as well to Fiat’s creditor banks and the government, Umberto Agnelli told Italian news agency Ansa that money-losing Fiat was sticking to its existing restructuring programme, which involves thousands of layoffs and asset sales.


According to Reuters, Agnelli was quoted as saying: “I appreciate the interest that has been shown but I would like to recall once again that there is only one plan approved by the board and and agreed with the creditor banks and the government. I confirm the full support of the shareholders to the Fiat managers who are involved in the steady implementation of this plan.”


Reuters said that Umberto Agnelli heads the holding companies of the Agnelli family, which controls Fiat with a combined stake of roughly 30%.


“The absolute priority for Fiat Auto today is to work calmly to advance the tough industrial programme underway,” he told Ansa, Reuters reported.