EIB and SACE provide EUR 400 million for Fiat’s R&D in Italy
The European Investment Bank (EIB), SACE and Fiat have signed a EUR 400 million loan agreement to support the carmaker’s 2013-16 research and development programme. Made available by the EIB and 50% guaranteed by the country’s export credit agency SACE, the funds will be deployed at Fiat’s R&D centres in the North and Centre-South of Italy.
The operation targets two key areas of the EIB’s investment in support of Europe’s economy: R&D; and environmental protection through the reduction of emissions and improvement of energy efficiency.
It will enable Fiat to:
improve its ability to innovate products to reduce fuel consumption and cut harmful emissions (including internal combustion engines, alternative fuels, energy saving and products based on new materials);
- develop innovative solutions for larger passenger vehicles with improved pedestrian safety characteristics;
- in general, promote the reduction of CO2 emissions and other pollutants in line with the EU’s targets for 2015 to 2020.
“Financing R&D projects is a mainstay of the EIB’s business and plays a key role in the current economic circumstances because the recovery and competitiveness will be based on innovation. We also welcome this operation because it will support research carried out at the Fiat Group’s R&D centres in the Centre-South of Italy – a region that has been particularly hard hit by the crisis”, said EIB Vice-President Dario Scannapieco.
"This operation confirms the effectiveness of SACE and the EIB’s partnership in support of the R&D investment of Italian firms, which in 2013 saw the provision of guarantees for over EUR 1 billion worth of loans” said SACE’s CEO Alessandro Castellano. “We are proud to contribute to strengthening Fiat’s innovation capacity, which we are certain will have positive impacts in terms of both the company’s international competitiveness and the production processes and employment procedures of the countless small business in the supply chain”.
Fiat S.p.A’s CEO Sergio Marchionne added: “Reducing our dependence on petrol by using clean alternative energies is a challenge that the Fiat Group has long embraced. And we have been able to do this partly thanks to the EIB’s commitment to provide the necessary finance. For six years now, Fiat has been Europe’s most environmentally friendly carmaker, whose vehicles have the lowest level of CO2 emissions, and we will demonstrate our leadership at Expo 2015, a major event showcasing a modern, dynamic and creative Italy”.