Former Fiat plant manager to run Jeep factories

Fiat's plans to close its Termini Imerese plant in Sicily aren't exactly good news for most of the automaker's employees. For plant director Mauro Pino, the future is bright: Pino has been selected by Fiat to run its new Jeep division's historic Toledo, Ohio, assembly plants.

Later this year, Fiat will close its Termini Imerese plant, which had at its 1970 opening and later proved burdensome due to the cost of building cars on the island of Sicily. The Jeep plant in Toledo is one of Chrysler's most important facilities because it produces two of Jeep's three main vehicles, the Wrangler and Liberty. It also builds Dodge's Nitro, which may or may not have a long future under Fiat-run Chrysler.

The move is the latest step in Fiat's plans to introduce Italian workers into high-profile North American positions and American workers into major executive jobs in Italy in an effort to synthesize the two automakers.

Pino will be responsible for adopting Fiat's manufacturing system into the Toledo plant.

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