With the exception of France, European governments offer very little help to their ailing car industries. Fiat hoped that Italy would follow the French example. Today, it received a cold shower instead. Italy’s prime minister Mario Monti “offers car makers sympathy, but no aid,” says Reuters.
Italy has not intervened with financial support for Fiat because its European losses are more than covered by revenue from its Chrysler unit in the United States, the report says.
In September, Monti held out the possibility of export aid for Fiat, but, says Reuters, Monti’s weekend announcement that he intends to resign from office before Christmas would suggest that any remaining hopes of export-boosting measures are slim.”
New car sales in Italy are set to fall about 20 percent this year to less than 1.4 million. Before the start of the 2008 crisis, Italians bought about 2 million cars a year.