The Fiat group requires new financial backers to bring in fresh capital as it tries to ride out a downturn at its car-making unit Fiat Auto, Bank of Italy governor Antonio Fazio said today (Thursday), according to a Reuters report.

In a written speech, Fazio said: “The relaunch of production, after taking a strategic breather, will need the input of new financiers, new capital,” Reuters reported.

According to Reuters, Fazio said Fiat needed to increase its investments to pull out of its current crisis of slow sales and high debt.

“A big industrial group is part of the country’s heritage. It is in everybody’s interest that it is saved, that it regains competitivity by relaunching investment in research and innovation,” Fazio reportedly said, according to Reuters.

Reuters noted that Fiat agreed a three billion euro rescue package with Italian and foreign banks earlier this year as part of a plan to weather the current crisis.
“The size of the loans is linked to the value of (Fiat’s) activity,” Reuters quoted Fazio, Italy’s top bank regulator, as saying.

Reuters added that the Fiat board, due to meet later today, would approve third-quarter results which analysts forecast would show the group operating loss widening slightly.

Fiat could also announce plans to recapitalise its struggling car unit which has dragged the group deep into the red, Reuters suggested.