It was a remote possibility, and now Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne has told La Repubblica that the company would stay in Italy despite high annual losses and rumours of a move to Detroit.
"I have never spoken of lay-offs, never proposed to close plants, never said I would leave," Marchionne told the Italian newspaper.
Marchionne was forced to speak out after it emerged that two government ministers had requested meetings with the Fiat boss to discuss the rumours and his future plans before the firm's second-quarter results are published in October.
Despite the popularity of the rebooted Fiat 500, and the praise heaped upon the twin air engine, Fiat's sales are at their lowest level for more than fifty years.
As things stand, it is Chrysler that is keeping Fiat afloat, not the other way round.