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Stellantis to remove Italian flag from Fiats made in Morocco

Italy won't let the Fiat Topolino fly the Italian flag because Stellantis makes it in Morocco IMAGO/Gruppo LiveMedia via Reuters Connect
The Fiat Topolino: Italy will not let it fly the Italian flag because Stellantis makes it in Morocco
  • Allegedly breaks Made In Italy laws
  • Model seized at Livorno port
  • Fiat plant in Algeria starts in June

The automobile giant Stellantis will remove the Italian flag from its Fiat Topolino model after being accused of breaking Made In Italy laws because the car – technically a quadricycle – was produced in Morocco.

Dozens of the vehicles were seized at the port of Livorno for violations of the law, which insists on strict origin labelling for products branded as Italian, according to media reports.

Stellantis, the fourth biggest car maker in the world, whose brands also include Chrysler and Peugeot, claimed the Italian flag was added because the idea for the Fiat Topolino was devised in Turin.

Under Italian law, goods classifiable as Made In Italy must have been designed, processed and packaged exclusively in the country’s territory. Stellantis has said the stickers will be removed.

A spokesperson from Stellantis Italy told AGBI: “Fiat has always been clear in its communication about the country of production. We believe that we have operated in full compliance with the regulations, transparently communicating the country of production of the Topolino.”

The company has come under fire from Italian authorities for shifting the manufacture of vehicles to countries with lower labour costs, which Italian government officials have said threatens thousands of jobs in Italy.

On Tuesday it was revealed that a project to expand the Fiat car production plant in Algeria by almost 50 percent had been completed.

The plant, in the northwest city of Oran, will start operations in June, according to the local newspaper, Elkhabar, increasing production of vehicles from 40,000 to 60,000 annually.

Stellantis was formed in 2021 through a merger of Peugeot in France and Fiat Chrysler of Italy and the United States, and has sizeable sales and manufacturing operations in the Middle East and Africa (MEA).

The company had a market share of more than 18 percent in Europe last year.

In an exclusive interview with AGBI, Samir Cherfan, chief operating officer of Stellantis MEA, revealed the car maker sold 614,000 units across the region in 2023, up 48 percent from 415,000 units in 2022.

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