Fiat Auto should not count on the government’s aid to turn it around, Italian deputy prime minister Gianfranco Fini said on Tuesday, urging the car maker to upgrade models to stem losses, according to Reuters.
Fiat plans a five billion euros recapitalisation for its cash-bleeding Fiat Auto unit and is still waiting to see whether General Motors, which holds a 20% stake in the unit, would pick up its part of the bill, the news agency noted.
According to Reuters, a GM executive on Tuesday reiterated that his company had no current plans to take part in the recapitalisation plan.
Reuters noted that Italian media have in the past speculated that the government may step in to rescue the 104-year-old car maker, taking a stake in one of Italy’s industrial symbols — a move widely disapproved of by investors and analysts.
“Me and (prime minister Silvio) Berlusconi have verified an unwritten rule that in times of profits (investors) come knocking on the government door for privatisation, but in times of losses it’s expected that someone else would pay,” Reuters quoted Fini as telling a meeting ahead of regional elections.
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“We have replied to Fiat that they should sell the family jewels and make more appealing cars,” Fini said, according to the news agency. “We are for the policy of competition between the companies.”