Fiat Moving To Detroit? And To Brazil. And To Asia.

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
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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.

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href=""> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href=""> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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7 of 8 comments
  • Obbop Obbop on Feb 06, 2011

    Do the execs merely want easier access to the Olive Garden restaurant?

  • ChuckR ChuckR on Feb 06, 2011

    It is a measure of how bad things must be in Italy that the US, one of the highest corporate tax countries in the world, looks good by comparison.

    • See 2 previous
    • Marcelo de Vasconcellos Marcelo de Vasconcellos on Feb 06, 2011

      Right on Bertel, Americans simply do not know how much good they've got. It's amazing

  • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Feb 06, 2011

    Actually, where the headquarters is located doesn't matter. States and countries tax the business activity in their jurisdiction, not the main accounting department. Only the U.S. taxes the global business of American companies, though there's a way for companies to keep foreign earnings in their countries of origin. If the deficit cutters go after that loophole, Sergio might be tempted to move Chrysler headquarters to Italy, AFTER he pays off the U.S. and Canadian loans.

  • Vent-L-8 Vent-L-8 on Feb 07, 2011

    say what you want about Chrysler (and their sub-standard products) but they make a great Super Bowl commercial...