Italy seizes dozens of tiny Fiat EVs for allegedly violating ‘Made in Italy’ rules as relations between Stellantis and government sour

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Italy’s financial police seized dozens of Fiat Topolinos which they said carried the national flag on units actually assembled in Morocco, in the latest fight between Giorgia Meloni’s government and the carmaker.

The vehicles were blocked at the port of Livorno for alleged violations of the so-called “Made in Italy” law, which already forced Stellantis to rebrand its Alfa Romeo Milano sports car to Junior. A spokesman for Stellantis confirmed the seizure, which was first reported by Italian media including La Repubblica.

Italy’s government is at loggerheads with Stellantis following plans to cut jobs in the country and move production to lower-cost nations. Last month, thousands of Italians joined striking workers near the carmaker’s base in the northern city of Turin in anticipation of a new round of redundancies. 

Stellantis says it will remove a small Italian flag sticker on the cars, which it added because the Topolino project was developed in Turin. The carmaker denies any wrongdoing, and said it has always communicated in a transparent way on the country where the Topolino is manufactured.  

The original Topolino — Italian for “Little Mouse” – quadricycle was one of the first mass-produced vehicles made in Italy in the 1930s. The revamped version is expected to cost from €9,890 ($10,775). 

The carmaker announced earlier this month it will start selling cars made by Chinese partner Leapmotor in Europe as part of a global expansion as the automaker fights to lower the cost of electric vehicles. 

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