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Fiat invests in Serbia's Zastava car plant

Date: 03.10.2008

Italian carmaker Fiat and Serbia's government have signed a joint-venture deal expected to bring almost 1 billion euros in investment and revive the Serbian car industry.

Under the contract on co-operation, the Italian partner will invest 700m euros in the Zastava auto plant, while Serbia will put another 200 million euros in the factory in Kragujevac.

Fiat was slated to take a 67-per cent stake in the plant and raise output to 200,000 small, A-segment cars in 2010.

"This investment is the biggest so far in Serbia," said government minister Mladjan Dinkic, who signed the agreement with Fiat's CEO, Sergio Marchionne.

The realization of the contract would open about 5,000 new jobs in the region around Kragujevac, which suffered badly after the disintegration of former Yugoslavia in 1991.

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