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Fiat announces 'aggressive' product offensive

Fiat will launch 20 new models over the next three years and invest billions of euros in research and development as part of a turnaround bid, the company’s chief executive officer has announced.

In a company statement, CEO Sergio Marchionne vowed not to shut down any factories in Italy. The statement followed a meeting between Marchionne, top government officials and union leaders at the Italian premier's office.

"The aggressive renewal of the product range that began two years ago is continuing under the 2005-2008 product range, which calls for the launch of 20 new models and 23 re-stylings of existing models," said Marchionne.

Fiat announced that it will spend €4bn euros (£2.8bn) in research and development over the next four years. The Fiat group as a whole will invest about €18bn (£12.5bn) to 2008.

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