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ITALY: Fiat chief back in US for Chrysler talks

By just-auto.com editorial team | 20 April 2009

Fiat chief executive Sergio Marchionne is back in the United States for talks as pressure builds to agree a partnership with Chrysler before 30 April, sources said on Monday.

Sources at Fiat told Reuters Marchionne was visiting Detroit and Washington ahead of a 30 April US government deadline to get Chrysler unions and bondholders to agree to the deal.

Marchionne would not go to Canada, where the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union had invited him to take part in their talks with Chrysler, the sources added.

Marchionne last week threatened to walk away from the deal - which would give Fiat an initial 25% equity in Chrysler in return for access to small car platforms and technology - if the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union kept resisting demands to reduce employee benefits.

The sources said Marchionne would return to Italy for a board meeting ahead of publication of Fiat's first-quarter results on Thursday.

A US report late on Friday said Fiat could also form an alliance with General Motors operations in Europe and Latin America.

Fiat declined to comment.

Pressure grows on Chrysler union