Italy Ministry says it, Fiat aim to relaunch Italy car market

Reuters

Italian car maker Fiat Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne and the country's new industry minister pledged to work together to relaunch Italy's recession-stricken car market, the ministry said on Friday.

Newly-appointed minister Flavio Zanonato met with Marchionne and Fiat's controlling shareholder John Elkann on Friday, both of whom assured the minister that Fiat intends to maintain current employment levels even as Italy's car market shrinks to levels not seen since the 1970s.

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Last year, car sales fell nearly 20 percent, and are seen falling 5 percent more this year to about 1.3 million vehicles.

"The meeting took stock of the automotive market's situation and offered the chance to take the first step in working together to relaunch Italy's car market," the Ministry said.

(Reporting by Jennifer Clark, editing by Stephen Jewkes)