Stellantis, former buildings, factories, offices: Agnelli and Marchionne’s slow farewell to Turin

Stellantis, former buildings, factories, offices: Agnelli and Marchionne’s slow farewell to Turin
Stellantis, former buildings, factories, offices: Agnelli and Marchionne’s slow farewell to Turin
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With the spread of the news of the sale, by Stellantis, of the historical building in via Nizza 250, closes another chapter of the long love story between Fiat and Turin, now very close to the terminus. The fact that the group intends to leave ownership of the building, which is bound by the Superintendence of Architectural Heritage due to its importance, in which the offices of Gianni Agnelli and Sergio Marchionne were located, has a highly symbolic value. Yet another chapter in the separation between the company and what, once upon a time, was our little (but not so much) Detroit.

Goodbye giant. Today, on a production level, the presence of Stellantis is reduced to a part of Mirafiori and the former Bertone plant in Grugliasco, acquired in 2009. Today’s Mirafiori, however, is only a distant memory of what it once was: a colossus that extended for 2 million square meters, which, at the end of the 1960s , had come to employ 60,000 people. A city within the city, whose social fabric he had upset, causing the population of Turin, between ’46 and ’66, to almost double; a giant who has rightfully become part of the history of our country, with events such as the inauguration of May 15, 1939 in the presence of a Mussolini received coldly by the workers, the season of strikes, anarchy in the factory and violence ( culminating in the assassination of the manager Carlo Ghiglieno), the famous march of the 40 thousand, the decline and the slow and partial recovery. Already in 2005 it was Sergio Marchionne who signed with the Municipality a protocol of intent for the sale to the public body of large spaces of the former factory, in the area of ​​300 thousand square meters between via Settembrini, corso Tazzoli and corso Orbassano, while keeping the production of the Fiat Grande Punto in the factory. Today, the 500 electric cars and the Maserati Levante (waiting for the future GranTurismo and GranCabrio) come out of Mirafiori; in the complex there is also a Battery Hub, the Motor Village and, in the premises of the former Officina 81 in via Plava, the Heritage Hub, consecrated to historical memory. Of the cars, not of the factory.


The beads of the rosary. The abandonment, albeit partial, of Mirafiori was only one of the many stages in the de-Piedmontization of the Fiat group, which went through the construction and enhancement of the Melfi and Cassino plants and, abroad, those in Brazil and Poland. . Year after year, the first (in 1997) were left in the city Corso Marconi offices (whose name had long been used as a synonym of the company itself or, at least, of its management), then those of Corso Matteotti, to concentrate activities at the refurbished Lingotto, the group’s historic factory. The hinterland, on the other hand, saw the activities of Lancia gradually cease in Borgo San Paolo and Chivasso (in 1993) and Fiat in Rivalta (a structure used since 2018 for spare parts and accessories for Mopar). Borgo San Paolo, which was also the seat of the Fiat Racing Department in its heyday, was historically an entire “Lancia district”, where thousands of company employees lived: in 1942 it was subjected to heavy bombing by the Allies, such as it happened to many other Italian car factories (above all, the Milanese Portello of Alfa Romeo, half destroyed by the Anglo-American raids). A few days ago, the news of the start of the demolition of the former Lancia complexes between the Issiglio and Caraglio streets, to make way for residential complexes, gardens and commercial activities, dates back to a few days ago. Now, therefore, even the building in via Nizza will have to find a buyer, adding a plaque to the melancholy “Spoon River” of what has long been the Italian city of engines par excellence and which has had to find new vocations.


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