MILAN (Reuters) – An Italian private equity manager has proposed building electric cars at the Sicilian factory that Fiat (FIA.MI) plans to shut, the Financial Times reported.
The newspaper on Tuesday cited Simone Cimino, Chairman of Cimino & Associates Private Equity, as saying that he needed a minimum investment of 65 million euros ($88.8 million) to start making electric cars at the Termini Imerese factory.
Investments could eventually rise to 900 million euros.
Cimino told the newspaper that he has already raised about 50 million euros of funding from investors including the Sicilian regional government and French bank Natixis (CNAT.PA). He is also in talks with Bangalore-based electric cars maker Reva.
The venture would need to make 30,000 cars a year to break even. It would cut production times for cars by modernising the factory, and would build electric cars selling for 16,000 to 17,000 euros using Termini’s Fiat-trained workforce.
Italy’s government has said that it has received 8 to 9 proposals for Termini, which has about 1,400 workers and which Fiat plans to close in 2011. ($1=.7320 Euro) (Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Hans Peters)