A late night meeting in Rome this evening [14 February] between the Italian minister of economic development and Termini Imerese unions could see the future of the plant secured.
Fiat has earmarked the Sicilian site for closure but a deal between the Italian and regional island governments should see seven companies – including two automotive operations – take over the factory creating a significant number of new jobs.
Economics and development minister Paulo Romani will meet four Fiat unions at 21:00 tonight in the ministry building – the lateness explained by his need to fly back from Algeria where he is currently evaluating the volatile political situation there.
The Italian government and the region of Sicily are due to pump EUR450m (US$606m) into the Sicilian plant, whose site will now be shared between the seven operations.
“There are two of the seven that will produce cars ,” a ministry of economic development spokeswoman told just-auto from Rome. One is luxury cars – Rossignorlo and the other Cimino which is electric cars.
“There will be an increase in jobs. Now we have 1,617 [workers going to] 3,340 – very good of course – it is a success story.”
The Italian government is confident the unions will agree to the plans in the late night meeting in Rome and insisted “everything is ready,” to obtain the labour bodies’ signature.
“It is a very good plan so the unions have no reason to say no,” added the spokeswoman.
Last year, up to 14 expressions of interest were thought to have been tabled for the Termini plant which assembles the small Lancia models, although unions had urged the Italian government to consider only those offers relevant to automaking.
However, it appears as well as the two automotive companies mentioned by the ministry, other companies will include medical and energy firms.