No Ferrari sale ahead

The chief executive of Fiat Gabriele Galateri says that he has no further plans to sell more shares in the Ferrari company, despite the financial troubles of the Fiat group. In an interview with the Fiat-controlled newspaper Corriere della Sera, he said that job cuts are needed at Fiat Auto if the company is going to survive.

"We must cut production and must adapt to the market demand," he said. "And we will do it in the least competitive factory." The planned cutbacks will cut Fiat's costs by up to a billion dollars and help the company move back into profitability but the plan of closing Fiat's facility in Sicily has caused a political storm in Italy.

Galateri said that despite pressure from creditor banks Fiat is not going to sell off more of its assets.

"We've already had big sell-offs," he said. "From the 34 percent of Ferrari to Teksid Alluminio (Fiat's foundry business) and at the moment we are not expecting further sales of assets. The restructuring is about bringing Fiat Auto up to the

levels needed."

There remains the possibility that Fiat Auto will be sold to General Motors in 2004 if the restructuring is unsuccessful. This may not bring in much money but it will stop the losses which have dragged down the whole Fiat group in recent years.

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