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Published: Monday, 2/7/2011

Hint of Fiat move to U.S. sparks outrage in Italy

ROME — The Italian government will tackle Fiat SpA boss Sergio Marchionne over suggestions that he wants to move the car maker's headquarters to the United States after merging with Chrysler Group LLC, a minister said Monday.

Mr. Marchionne aims to merge Italy's main industrial group and Chrysler in two or three years. He suggested at an industry conference on Friday that the new company could be based in the United States.

The car executive is pushing through a contested labor deal in Italy as part of a project to invest $27.2 billion to boost productivity at its money-losing car plants.

“The head of the carmaker must remain in Turin,” Fiat's hometown, Industry Minister Paolo Romani told an Italian daily newspaper. Fiat, Europe's sixth-biggest automaker by sales, must remain “an Italian multinational,” the minister added.

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