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Fiat's Marchionne could talk auto spin-off in April

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Fiat's Marchionne could talk auto spin-off in April

March 3, 2010 14:46 CET

GENEVA (Reuters) – Italian industrial group Fiat S.p.A. could discuss spinning off its auto activities when it presents a five-year strategic plan next month, CEO Sergio Marchionne said on Wednesday. Such a move could unlock value for the company and cheer the market.

There has been regular speculation on the possibility of Fiat listing its auto activities separately. These include its Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Lancia brands as well as U.S. carmaker Chrysler, in which Fiat has a 20 percent stake.

"Let's talk about it on April 21," Marchionne told reporters on the sidelines of the Geneva auto show when asked about an auto spin-off.

Fiat holds an investor day on April 21 in Turin. A company spokesman said this would include a presentation of Fiat's five-year strategic plan.

The Fiat group includes luxury car brands Ferrari, the Iveco truck unit, and the listed agricultural equipment unit CNH Global NV.

Asked about closer links with PSA/Peugeot-Citroen, Marchionne said: "Not for the moment. Relations are great for the commercial vehicle side but for cars there is nothing concrete."

Marchionne said Chrysler's flat year-on-year February sales reflected "real numbers", with figures before the U.S. company's bankruptcy last year reflecting "ridiculous" discounts. General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. posted strong rises.

In Italy, the difficulties in the auto sector will last for some time, making 2010 a "tough year" after the expiry of scrapping incentives at the end of 2009, he said.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20100303/ANE/303039956/1317#ixzz0h80bAD8i

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