Italy: Fiat's New Wheeler

Since it was established in 1899, Fiat, the second biggest automaker in Europe and the fifth biggest in the world, has had only two chairmen: Founder Giovanni Agnelli and, since 1945, Vittorio Valletta. Last week, at the age of 82, Valletta turned the wheel over to Gianni Agnelli, 45, grandson of Fiat's founder and a charter member of the international jet set.

The new Agnelli took over the company's chairmanship on the eve of a major new venture. Russia is expected to sign in a few days a "precontract" for the construction of a $600 million auto plant in Russia. Half...

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