Italian authorities investigating million-euro parts heist at Abarth plant
18 October 2011 - Autoblog
We dig Abarth. In fact we hope the Fiat performance brand arrives Stateside pronto. But when it does, we hope it comes with all the parts.
You see, while many cars can be had in one specification or another from the factory, Abarth lets you upgrade after the fact. So you can order, say, a Fiat 500 Abarth, enjoy it for a while, and when you've got a little extra cash on hand, you can order the EsseEsse kit from Abarth and have your car upgraded. Sorta like an aftermarket tuner, only with full factory support.
The trouble is that some of the workers at Officine 83 in Fiat's Mirafiori plant near Turin have (after listening to some Johnny Cash and watching one too many episodes of The Sopranos) reportedly found the system easy enough to walk away with about a million euros (Rs 39.95 millions) in performance parts and various accessories. According to reports, employees were pilfering parts from the factory and selling them online at a significant discount.
The scam was reportedly uncovered when Abarth received numerous reports from dealers that components or even entire kits that they'd ordered never arrived. The company subsequently notified the Carabinieri – Italy's federal police force – which undertook an eight-month investigation into the incident.