Italy to support Stellantis battery factory with $420m, minister says
Italy will provide hundreds of millions of euros in support for a battery factory in southern Italy planned by Stellantis, the government’s industry minister has said.
“We are convinced that Stellantis must continue to engage in Italy and the gigafactory of Termoli that (Rome) will support with 369 million euros (420 million dollars) of public money demonstrates this,” Giancarlo Giorgetti told the daily. . Le Sole 24 Ore in an interview published Thursday, without specifying the overall investment planned for the plant.
Giorgetti also told the newspaper that Rome could approve as early as Friday a package of 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) a year – for at least three years – to fund incentives for the purchase of low-emission cars. and the conversion of production plants to electric vehicles.
Stellantis declined to comment.
The automaker, formed in January from the merger of Fiat Chrysler and PSA, said its strategy would be supported by five battery plants in Europe and North America, and one would be at its engine plant in Termoli.
The three-year plan includes incentives and financial support to convert industrial capacity to more environmentally friendly models, Giorgetti said.
A deal between Rome and Stellantis has yet to be finalized, but in an interview on Sunday Giorgetti said a deal for the battery factory would be signed shortly.
Stellantis, which operates around ten factories in Italy, has been particularly affected by the pandemic, with a ripple effect on its network of suppliers.
Stellantis employs approximately 50,000 people in Italy.
Although the new measures aim to push Italian car production towards electric vehicles, Rome would still support the production of certain petrol, diesel and hybrid cars.
“Helping just on the electrical side would be doing foreign automakers a favor,” Giorgetti said in the interview. “We also need to encourage less wealthy people to buy cheaper vehicles.”
Italy has been seen as a laggard in electric vehicle production as the government pressured the European Union to postpone deadlines for plans to phase out internal combustion in a bid to support high-powered automakers performance such as Ferrari and Lamborghini.
Europe’s car industry is in the midst of its worst period for new registrations since the continent’s industry association began monitoring the market in the early 1990s.
Registrations in the EU, UK and EFTA markets fell 2.4% to 822,423 in January from a year ago, data from industry association ACEA showed on Thursday. .
Reuters contributed to this report