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Old 06-16-2008, 10:22 AM   #8
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Fiat denies any cooperative relationship with China's Zotye.

June 16, 2008 - Fiat has denied it has any intention to build up cooperative relationship with China's Zotye Holding Group Co, Beijing news reported today.

Paolo Arpellino, chief representative officer of Fiat's Chinese office, said in a clarification statement that "Fiat has no cooperative relationship with Zotye in any case, to say nothing of joint venture partnership."

Citing words from a Zotye official, state-run Xinhua newspaper reports in April that Zotye may set up a joint venture with Fiat if everything goes well.

Zotye just unveiled its own brand models built on technologies from discontinued Fiat models at this year's Beijing Auto Show. The company had bought from Fiat the assembly line and tooling and intellectual property rights for the Lancia Lybra by mid-2007.

Also, Paolo said Fiat is still in talks with Chery but admitted that no major progress has been made so far. Fiat and Chery signed a memorandum of understanding to build a 50:50 passenger vehicle joint venture and an engine supply contract in August 2007, but the talks began to stall in early 2008 when Fiat pulled out of Nanjing Auto.

In the joint venture, Chery and Fiat had plans to locally produce Fiat Linea, Bravo and Grand Punto, but Fiat cannot satisfy Chery's desire for another model - Alfa Romeo.

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