CORRECTED - Fiat CEO says may resume buying assets after 2006


In SAO PAULO story headlined "Fiat CEO says set to resume buying assets in 2006" please read in headline...may resume buying assets after 2006..and in first paragraph...hopes to resume buying after 2006...instead of hopes to resume buying assets in 2006...(corrects timing)

A corrected repetition follows:

SAO PAULO, Brazil, March 18 (Reuters) - Giuseppe Morchio, chief executive of Italy's Fiat , said on Thursday the industrial group hopes to resume buying assets after 2006, once its restructuring plan is complete.

Morchio, who has headed the Fiat Group for one year, began a cost-reduction plan last June designed to cut the number of companies tied to the multinational firm to 610 from 944.

The company, which sold several of its units last year -- including aviation concern Fiat Avio -- now has "a good financial structure, with 7 billion euros in the cash box," Morchio told reporters while visiting Fiat's Brazilian operations.

"We have no intention of selling off anything else. The financial situation has improved, but as long as we're not making money I won't be satisfied," he said. The group "may look at some possible acquisitions after 2006, but not before," he added.

The group aims to make a profit in 2006, after investments worth 19.5 billion euros -- 9 billion of which will go toward new products.

Morchio said that of the 12,000 job cuts anticipated in Fiat's streamlining program, 11,000 have already occurred. He pointed out that the reduction in the work force is practically complete, with the remaining spots to be taken by the closing of job positions.


The Fiat Group has 19 companies and 15 factories in Brazil, none of which will be hit by the restructuring. Projected investments of 3.3 billion reais ($1.1 billion) by 2006 will be poured into new products like heavy trucks, scheduled to begin in April, and the compact car Idea, due at the end of 2005.

Morchio said his Brazilian automotive unit's balance sheet is estimated to have stayed in the red in 2003. The results will be announced later this month.



Follow Us

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×