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Jobs go and prices cut as Fiat fights to stem losses

Jobs go and prices cut as Fiat fights to stem losses Fiat UK's radical business revamp is revealed as Fiat Auto announces losses of 529m Euros (around £330m) for the first quarter of 2002.

It has since announced plans to cut 2900 jobs at car plants in Italy. Production in June will fall by almost 15,000 units with a further 10,000 workers temporarily laid off.

Fiat is planning to try to kick-start Stilo sales by making the range more affordable through price cuts and specification upgrades. UK sales have been disappointing so far, with dealers retailing 4137 models for a 1.31 per cent share of the sector, although they have yet to receive some key models.

Losses in the international business prompted many commentators to predict an imminent General Motors takeover of Fiat Auto - but Fiat denied any such sale.

It is intending to launch an initial public offering for sports carmaker Ferrari in a bid to raise cash and staunch losses in the car and truck making divisions. The IPO, scheduled for late this year, would occur one year earlier than executives had indicated last autumn, but highlights Fiat's need to lower debt and cut costs.

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