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Fiat to leave Italy as Chrysler merger deal is signed


Sergio Marchionne

Sergio Marchionne

Sergio Marchionne

Italy's largest manufacturer Fiat is leaving home after 115 years.

The controlling Agnelli family and other investors met in Turin yesterday to seal the end of Fiat as an Italian company after it merges with Chrysler.

Created by Italian-Canadian chief executive Sergio Marchionne,  Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), will be incorporated under Dutch law, based in the UK and listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

"Marchionne doesn't want to abandon Italy; he wants FCA and himself to be global players, and the centre of gravity of FCA has to be repositioned in order to do that," said Erik Gordon, a professor at the University of Michigan. "It is a little sad for Italy."

The new entity's cosmopolitan structure reflects an industry shift away from national champions like Fiat. By combining resources with the US carmaker, the company formerly known as Fabbrica Italiana di Automobili Torino can better compete with heavyweights like General Motors, Volkswagen and Toyota, the CEO says.

"Marchionne needs the lights of Wall Street," where Fiat Chrysler plans to locate its primary listing by mid-October, Vincenzo Longo, of IG Group, added. There's more opportunity there than a "peripheral 
place like what the Italian market has become."

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