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Re: FIAT Viaggio

Italy's largest carmaker Fiat (FIA.MI) opened its first plant in China on Thursday dedicated to producing vehicles for the local market, starting with its new Viaggio saloon car.

The plant, based in Hunan province, is the latest development in a 5 billion yuan ($786.73 million) joint-venture between Fiat and GAC, China's sixth largest auto manufacturer.

Fiat' chief executive Sergio Marchionne met with representatives of Hunan and Guandong provinces to unveil the 730,000 square-meter plant, which is to produce 140,000 Viaggios a year.

The move is important for Fiat, which also controls U.S. auto maker Chrysler, because both companies have been latecomers to the booming Chinese car market.

The Viaggio shares a platform with the Dodge Dart, a compact car being launched by Chrysler in the United States, as well as with Fiat's Alfa Romeo Giulietta.

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