By on June 17, 2020

Italy is on the cusp of approving a 6.3 billion-euro ($7.1 billion) loan for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). Suppressed sales stemming from coronavirus lockdowns have encouraged governments around the globe to lend businesses a hand or — more accurately — fists full of money.

Bloomberg claims FCA’s payday will be Europe’s biggest government-backed financing of an automaker since the start of the pandemic, but it’s hardly the only company needing money. General Motors and Ford utilized credit lines to amass billions of dollars for their rainy day funds — and it’s definitely pouring outside. Ford figures it lost roughly $5 billion in operating costs in the three months leading up to June. Meanwhile, Fiat Chrysler estimates it lost $5.5 billion through the first quarter of this year. 

FCA says the funding will be used exclusively for the manufacturer’s Italian activities — especially payroll, issuing payments to suppliers, and planned investments for domestic facilities. Intesa Sanpaolo reportedly authorized the the loan last month and trade-credit insurer Sace will guarantee 80 percent of the total amount.

From Bloomberg:

“Car sales in Italy will plunge this year to 1.2 million compared with 2.1 million in 2019,” said Dario Duse, a managing director at consulting firm Alix Partners, who forecasts that industry-wide sales may take more than five years to return to pre-pandemic levels.

Registrations fell 57 percent in Europe in May after a 78 percent drop in April. The exact shape of a potential recovery is still unclear as automakers from Volkswagen Group to FCA prepare to announce results for what likely will be a devastating second quarter.

The situation has already encouraged other European nations to pour buckets of money into brands like Daimler and Renault, both of which received billions in government-backed loans from Germany and France, respectively. The last piece in FCA’s puzzle will be approval from Italian Finance Minister Roberto Gualtieri. While the loan terms have yet to be reviewed in their entirety, it’s presumed the ministry will sign off.

[Image: MikeDotta/Shutterstock]

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2 Comments on “FCA Payday: Italy Readies $7.1 Billion for Automaker...”

  • avatar

    Why only $7.1 billions and why Italian government? Italians are poor, that’s not fare. If Sergio was alive he would, via some arm twisting, force US Government to shell out $15 billions of American liras from CARES act.

  • avatar

    >>FCA says the funding will be used exclusively for the manufacturer’s Italian activities<<

    I'd bet the Italian operations weren't too profitable even before THE BUG so it does seem fair that US Chrysler operations doesn't foot the bill for everything

    closing FIAT would be a political impossibility but it would help the bottom line where Chrysler ops make the money and that gets dumped into FIAT product that doesn't do very well while Chrysler product gets neglected

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