The Italian motor giant Fiat is to be broken up.
Shareholders in Turin approved by a large margin a plan put forward by the firm’s chief Sergio Marchionne.
The move will see Fiat’s car business, which also includes Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Ferrari and Maserati, separate from its Iveco trucks division.
Describing it as a beautiful day Marchionne said:
‘‘The two groups emerging from this split will have greater freedom to act in the case of a possible alliance.’‘
The spin off aims to help the Italian firm incorporate Chrysler.
Currently Fiat has operational control of the American carmaker, but the latest decision could open the way for a full takeover once Chrysler has paid back its debt to the US government.
The planned demerger comes off the back of another deal with unions in Naples to avoid strike action.
Not everyone is convinced by the split though. Some analysts believe it could expose Fiat’s car wing, which while in profit globally, continues to make a loss in Europe.