Outspoken Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne says the company would be better off without having to base its operations in Italy. Company projects a profit of €2 billion for 2010 but none of its 5 Italian assembly plants are profitable.

Fiat would be better off it it wasn't based in Italy, so said Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne on an Italian television program.

Fiat is forecasting a profit of €2 billion for 2010 but none of that will be due to its Italian operations which consist of 5 assembly plants. None of those plants are profitable, according to Marchionne.

""Not a single euro of (Fiat's) planned 2-billion-euro profit margin comes from Italy. Fiat would do more if it took Italy out from its results. We cannot continue to manage operations at a loss forever," said Marchionne.

Marchionne cites the inflexibility of labor unions as a reason for the inefficiency of Fiat's Italian plants. Fiat's domestic factories cannot match the productivity of its single plant in Poland.

Fiat wants to stay in Italy but needs concessions from the trade unions. The automaker has a program called Fabbrica Italia (Factory Italy) with the goal of making its Italian operations competitive on a European level. Fiat wants to invest €20 billion in Italy but unions must give up long break times and other perks in exchange for more compensation to increase productivity.

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