By Alvise Armellini
ROME, July 11 (Reuters) - Italy expects Fiat-parent Stellantis to more than double the number of cars it produces in the country, Industry Minister Adolfo Urso said on Tuesday.
Urso spoke a day after meeting Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares. After the talks in Rome, both sides spoke of reaching an annual production target of 1 million units, without a specific time frame.
Speaking to the SkyTG24 news channel, the minister lamented that annual Italian car output last year had fallen to around 450,000 units "despite (government) incentives".
In the meeting with the Stellantis boss, "we set a (target) figure, one million cars, and Tavares said he can do it, and go from 450,000 to 1 million cars," Urso said.
A spokesperson for Stellantis said the company was "hopeful" the right conditions will be created to reverse the decline in Italian automotive production.
Echoing a statement released on Monday, the spokesperson said Stellantis was eyeing a "roadmap" that could eventually lead it to produce in Italy one million "vehicles", as opposed to just cars.
Vehicles is normally understood to also include other automotive products such as vans and light trucks, which are also produced in Italy in relatively high numbers.
According to the FIM-CISL trade union, Stellantis' automotive production in Italy last year totalled around 685,750 units, comprising almost 480,000 cars and 206,000 vans.
On Monday, Stellantis also said boosting production in Italy depended on several factors, including market forecasts, vehicle affordability, the impact of Euro 7 emissions regulation and incentives to support Italy's competitiveness.
(Additional reporting by Federica Urso, Giulio Piovaccari and Giuseppe Fonte; Editing by Bill Berkrot)