Iveco wins EEC backing
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• Iveco has finally won EEC Commission backing for an ambitious project to renew the company's truck range and introduce advanced, flexible manufacturing systems to its factories.
The Italian Industry Ministry agreed last September to support the five-year, £140 million Iveco project to the tune of 360 billion lire (£17 million) under an industrial innovation scheme. But EEC Corrunisioner Peter Sutherland, who is in charge of the Commission's policy on competition, objected to the support package, which includes a loan of 825 billion lire (£39 million) on generous repayment terms, on the grounds that it would be unfair to truck manufacturers in other Community countries such as Germany and the UK.
This week the Commission decided that the Italian Government funding is acceptable as it will stimulate research and innovation.
The Iveco range renewal project is understood to involve considerable technical innovation and the use of common components (in particular cabs, chassis and axles) across a wide weight range. The company's main truck assembly plant in Turin will be thoroughly updated and new, highly flexible production processes introduced.