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Italian suppliers may follow Fiat to Detroit

Posted Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009, 2:44 pm in Employee News

Italian automotive suppliers to Fiat S.p.A. could look to set up shop in the Detroit area following the formation of Chrysler Group LLC, the Chrysler-Fiat alliance spawned from Chrysler’s bankruptcy, Automotive News reported.

Massimo Denipoti, president of the Detroit-based Italian American Alliance for Business and Technology, says he is aware of two Italy-based powertrain component suppliers that are in “advanced stages” of setting up shop in metro Detroit, the paper said. He declined to name the firms, citing confidentiality agreements, but the suppliers could opt to establish standalone operations locally and bring substantial investment, or partner with existing firms in the region, the Automotive News said.

At least two Michigan companies appear positioned to grab new contracts when Chrysler Group begins to make Fiat-based vehicles in North America, the paper said. Assembly equipment maker Comau Inc. and the U.S. arm of parts maker Magnetti Marelli S.p.A. are part-owned by Fiat and have a presence in North America.

Comau acquired Progresssive Tool & Industries Co. in 1999. Progressive, also known as PICO, was one of the largest automotive tool and die manufacturers in the industry, the paper said. The company could be a front-runner to retool Chrysler manufacturing plants to build Fiat-based vehicles, the story said. (Automotive News)
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