The coronavirus crisis has brought much of the European automobile industry to its knees. Groups that are now seeking state aid to save a sector that employs millions of people throughout Europe. One of the latter has been FIAT, which has asked the Italian government for an aid package valued at more than 6 billion euros. But from different sectors, it has been requested that this salvation table comes with necessary conditions focused on higher local production and new mobility technologies.
This is what they are asking for in a letter sent to Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and other members of the executive by essential groups such as Transport Environment (T&E), Legambiente, Kyoto Club, Greenpeace Italy, WWF Italy.
In total, FIAT aims to receive around 6.3 billion euros. But to achieve this, the group is asked to commit to creating an electric mobility value chain in Italy, aimed at guaranteeing the competitiveness of the Italian automotive industry and its workforce in the next years.
According to the signatory organizations, the FIAT group is today the only European car manufacturer that has not yet launched any electric vehicle on the market. That has led him to have to make an unpopular move in Italy with the purchase of 1.8 billion euros worth of emission credits from Tesla to avoid higher fines for not complying with Europe’s emission regulations. A project by the EU to reduce emissions that have entered into force this year, but which has been approved more than ten years ago.
A dynamic that they have tried to correct urgently with investments valued at 1.7 billion euros in Italian factories for the production of plug-in hybrid and electric cars, such as the new version of the Fiat 500e. A movement that is going in the right direction, but that seems to the signatory organizations of the letter “insufficient to guarantee the creation of an Italian pole for electric mobility.”
It is also mentioned that FIAT does not have its headquarters in Italy, which reduces the taxes it pays within the country. Another requirement to be taken into account by the states when offering public aid.
The conclusion is the signatory organizations established minimum conditions that the manufacturer should respect to obtain the loans requested for their salvation.