500 Madness
  • Sergio Marchionne Letter to All Employees

    Sergio Marchionne Chief Executive Officer
    Turin, 4 September 2013
    Letter to all employees at the Mirafiori plant
    Every organization and its people face important moments.

    Moments when it is necessary to take courageous decisions, even though the normal prudence and logic might suggest waiting.

    Today is one of those moments.

    That is why I felt the need to write to you directly.

    Fiat has decided to move forward with its investment program in Italy despite the current economic and political uncertainties.

    The Italian auto market has nearly halved in size compared to just 6 years ago. Elsewhere in Europe, the situation is little better: demand is weak and most automakers are continuing to record losses. Moodyís, one of the worldís leading rating agencies, estimates that four of the largest automakers (Fiat, PSA Peugeot-CitroŽn, Ford and General Motors) will close 2013 with combined losses of around Ä5 billion for their European activities as a result of demand having collapsed to its lowest level in the last 20 years.

    This is not the first time we find ourselves in the midst of a crisis and having to rewrite our future.

    In 2004, we initiated the process to turn around a Fiat which was on the verge of collapse.
    We established a solid foundation, introduced a new culture and a new operating approach. We snatched it from the grasp of certain disaster to achieve, within just a few years, the highest trading profit in the Groupís more than century long history.

    We achieved all of that together.
    Shortly after that, there was the crisis of 2008-2009 which turned the core assumptions upon which our plans had been based completely on their heads and forced us to radically rethink our strategy.
    Markets were in a state of flux and turmoil and we took advantage of the situation to look for a unique opportunity. The result was a partnership with Chrysler in America with which we have created a global auto group.
    By taking that step, we succeeded in protecting our Group from potentially devastating forces.
    We became stronger and more solid.
    Now we need to use the strength which comes from our activities outside Europe to protect what is currently the weakest part of our business.
    We already have the tools we need.
    The collective labor agreement, signed by the majority of trade unions that represent you, our workers, and the referendums through which you chose to be involved in the revitalization process and work to achieve excellence are the only tools we need.

    They represent our mutual commitment to being flexible and innovative in how we work together.

    They represent a determination to begin afresh and put behind us the long history of mistrust on the industrial relations front.

    They represent a determination to see the world in a new light, to recognize the extraordinary opportunity available for our products and ourselves, the opportunity to be able to compete with the very best.

    Today, in a meeting with the trade unions that are signatories to Fiatís collective labor agreement, we renewed our mutual commitment to move ahead with our investment plans.
    As I have said, this is a key decision which has the full support of the Chairman of Fiat, John Elkann. It is an act of courage in the face of decline, an act of faith in our future.

    We did it in Pomigliano when we chose to transfer production of the Panda from Poland and create a model plant which has achieved World Class Manufacturing Gold level and is today recognized as one of the finest in Europe.

    We did it in Grugliasco when we took a plant that had been closed for 6 years and invested more than Ä1 billion to upgrade and retool and begin production of the Maserati Quattroporte and Ghibli for export to markets around the world.

    We are doing it in Melfi where we are investing another Ä1 billion to begin production of the Fiat 500X and a Jeep brand vehicle, which from next year will both be sold in international markets.
    We are also doing it at the Sevel plant which we are upgrading to serve as a center of excellence for production of future versions of the Ducato that will also be sold in markets around the world.

    We can achieve the same thing at Mirafiori.

    All I ask is that you remain true to the contractual commitments despite the legal uncertainty arising from the recent ruling of the Constitutional Court.

    We have been asking for some certainty for a long time, but it has become clear that it wonít arrive in the short term.

    We canít afford to wait any longer and neither can you.

    Living with uncertainty is never easy and we know many of you are still facing difficulties.
    We intend to change this situation by immediately beginning a program of investment.
    The key message I want to leave you with is this: have faith in yourselves, in each other and in our project.

    We did it in 2004 and we can do it again.

    In fact, we are in an even better position to succeed with the combined strength of Fiat and Chrysler.

    We can begin a new chapter and, in so doing, provide a strong message of hope and commitment to the nation.

    Sergio Marchionne
    Comments 2 Comments
    1. luckymoi's Avatar
      luckymoi -
      Forza Fiat.
    1. MADNESSLuckyJay's Avatar
      MADNESSLuckyJay -
      my favorite part of this is now knowing the 500X will hit the streets!