ITALY: Fiat on the Skids

Italy's auto mammoth, Fiat, the second largest in Europe and sixth largest in the world, was considered until recently the private-enterprise showpiece of the Italian economy. Today, racked by labor troubles, declining sales, and most of all government interference in its affairs, it is being mentioned as a possible candidate for partial state owner ship. The company's leaders, 53-year-old Chairman Giovanni Agnelli and his 39-year-old brother, Managing Director Umberto, are deeply committed to keeping the company in the private sector, but they face conditions that Umberto has publicly labeled impossible.

Two...

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