While America is glued to the flat screen, Fiat gets all the headlines. The other day, Sergio Marchionne had dropped a mention that the HQ of a merged Fiat & Chrysler could move to the U.S. Stateside, this didn’t make much waves. It was buried in shyster-gate. In Italy, all hell broke loose. Fiat emigrating la bella Italia for America? Porca miseria!
Italy’s Welfare Minister Maurizio Sacconi immediately spoke to Marchionne and received a milquetoast statement. “Marchionne has explained the sense of the plans which refer exclusively to future possible company arrangements and which have not been decided,” Sacconi told Reuters.
Fiat Chairman John Elkann had an even better strategy: Overwhelm the opposition. Move to America? Hell no, we’ll move everywhere! He called Turin’s Mayor Sergio Chiamparino, who had said a move of Fiat headquarters to the United States would be “unacceptable”. Elkann told the Mayor that there will be not one headquarters, but four.
There will “one at Turin, one at Detroit for the United States, one in Brazil, and if possible, one in Asia” the mayor said, relating what Elkann told him.
So there, everybody happy. Especially the airlines.