Unions and the Italian government have met in Rome to flesh out the future of Fiat’s Termini Imerese plant in Sicily.

Some seven companies, of which two are automotive, have been earmarked to share grants of EUR350m (US$497m) from the region of Sicily and EUR100m from the Italian government.

The talks between Economic and Development Minister Paolo Romani and the unions in the Italian capital marks progress for Termini Imerese, which Fiat aims to shut by the end of this year.

“It is a first meeting with the unions after the signing of the agreement for the industrialisation of Termini Imerese,” an Economic and Development Minister spokeswoman in Rome told just-auto.

Italy’s FIOM union was present at the meeting and told just-auto it thought further discussions could be held next week.

Two automotive firms – luxury carmaker De Tomaso and EV producer Cimino – have been included in the bidding process – with speculation there could be a third auto manufacturer involved.