Italy Introduces Automotive Stimulus Package

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After Italian high-end car manufacturer, Fiat S.p.A. announced in January it expected to see 60,000 job losses in the auto sector in Italy if the government did not intervene, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi announced approval of a $2.6 billion stimulus package to assist the automotive and other domestic goods industries.

New vehicle registrations in Italy show a grim look at the automotive industry in Italy, nearly 33 per cent less than that of this time last year.

The package would include a “bonus” for people trading in their old cars, as well as tax breaks on household capital expenses such as furniture, according to reports Friday. People trading in their cars would be eligible for up to $2,000 to purchase vehicles which are more fuel efficient; and a 20 per cent tax allowance would be credited towards appliance and furniture purchases which exceeded $13,000.

The Prime Minister also appealed to the car industry to keep manufacturing plants “in Italy, to invest new products and to keep up payments to components suppliers”.

European automotive industries have been hard hit across the board, with England guaranteeing up to $3.4 billion in auto-loans and Germany injecting $2 billion to protect their manufacturers. France also suggested that nearly $8 billion may be necessary to protect their industry.

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