Fiat’s chief executive has warned he will walk away from partnership talks with Chrysler unless the troubled US carmaker’s unions agreed to cut labour costs.
Sergio Marchionne told a Canadian newspaper there is only a 50-50 chance of a deal on the partnership because of lack of progress in talks with union leaders. Accusing them of being “out of sync” with the real state the car industry is in, Marchionne said if Chrysler goes bankrupt the unions would lose their place at the negotiating table. If a deal is reached, Fiat would start selling its popular Cinquecento (500) in North America next year and make Alfa Romeos in Canada or the US. With Fiat taking an initial 20 percent stake in Chrysler, the US company would get the small car technology that it needs and – by avoiding bankruptcy – would receive at least another six billion dollars in US government bailout money. Washington has told the two carmakers they must reach a deal before the end of this month.