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Fiat, Chrysler to invest one billion in Italy plant

MILAN, November 26, 2010 (AFP) – Italy\’s Fiat and its US partner Chrysler will invest more than one billion euros (1.3 billion dollars) in a historic auto plant in the northern Italian city of Turin, Fiat said Friday.

"The plan foresees the creation of a joint enterprise between Chrysler and Fiat to bring to Turin a new platform from the United States to produce cars and SUVs for the Jeep and Alfa Romeo brands," Fiat said in a statement.

Fiat has taken operational control of Chrysler, which owns the Jeep brand, following the US company\’s exit from bankruptcy last year.

The Alfa Romeo brand belongs to Fiat.

"The investment is more than one billion euros, divided between Fiat and Chrysler," Fiat said.

The two groups could produce up to 280,000 vehicles a year at the Mirafiori plant — Fiat\’s biggest factory, with around 12,000 employees.

Fiat said the "inevitable" condition for this agreement was that trade unions had to increase productivity at the plant.

Fiat earlier this year said it would invest 20 billion euros in Italy by 2014 in order to double its production in the country but has called for a reform of contracts with trade unions to make its plants more competitive.

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