Have The Italians Got It Right?

There’s usually one assocaition with the phrases “axes” and “job cuts” but imagine my surprise when Fiat announced they’re axing the job cuts. The best kind of double negative? I think so.

So what’s going on? Fiat have cancelled their scheduled factory shutdowns that would have affected 8,000 workers and, for once, it’s thanks to the government. The Italian government introduced a new incentive that meant any consumer trading in a polluting, older vehicle (at least 10 years old) and buy a newer, eco-friendlier car would get payments of  €1,500.

The surge in demand means that Fiat have been able to cancel short-term lay offs.

While the governments here and in the US have tried helping the auto industry with bailouts, is this a better solution?

If trading in your big, gas guzzling and polluting 12 year old motor means getting the same sort of money back as the Italians (about £1,300 and $1,900 ) would you be more likely to be buying a new Fiat 500 for example? Not only would you be saving money anyway given the lower fuel costs but the government would be giving you nice lump toward an already cheap motor.

In this way the Italian government are helping both the auto industry, their own economy (given the mass scale and import of the Fiat group there) and the environment.

Is this the way forward? Teach a man to fish and all that…

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