ThE FINANCIAL -- The
European Investment Bank and Fiat Industrial have signed a EUR
350 million loan agreement in support of the group’s R&D projects.
This operation – and the cooperation between the two organisations in general – was at the centre of today’s meeting in Turin between the EIB’s Vice-President responsible for operations in Italy, Malta and the Western Balkans, Dario Scannapieco, and Fiat Industrial’s Chairman, Sergio Marchionne.
The EUR 350 million loan will finance projects carried out at five of Fiat Industrial’s European R&D centres – in Italy (83% of the loan), Germany (8%) and Switzerland (9%). The main aim is to improve the energy efficiency of the company’s products and reduce CO2 emissions.
The schemes financed will involve R&D in the following fields: powertrain technologies and components meeting the latest emissions standards and their application in industrial, commercial and agricultural vehicles; alternative powertrain and fuel technologies for commercial vehicles; innovative vehicle architecture based on improved aerodynamics and weight reduction, with a particular focus on safety.
As the European Investment Bank reported, this loan will enable Fiat Industrial – which has 51 R&D centres around the world – to give fresh impetus to the design and application of innovative solutions to increase the reliability and performance of its vehicles while meeting the highest sustainability standards.
Such projects are in line with one of the EIB’s key financing priorities: the design and application of less polluting and more efficient technologies in the engineering and transport sectors.
“At this stage in the global and European economic cycle, investment in innovation is essential to be able to look beyond the crisis and lay the foundations for recovery” said EIB Vice-President Dario Scannapieco – “and the projects financed by this loan reflect the commitment of Fiat Industrial and the European Union’s bank to supporting all programmes that combine research with environmental responsibility”.
Fiat Industrial’s Chairman, Sergio Marchionne, added: “This project bears concrete witness to our commitment to seeking high-tech solutions that respect sustainable development. It is not by chance that Fiat Industrial is a leader in the 2011-2012 Dow Jones World and Europe Sustainability Indexes, the most prestigious stock market indexes in the sustainability field. We are grateful to the EIB for believing in our ability to create innovation in Europe, especially in relation to the activity of our vehicle and engine centres of excellence in Italy”.