MILAN — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is in talks to obtain a state-backed credit line of about 6.3 billion euros ($6.8 billion) from Italy to buttress the automaker’s finances against the steep downturn caused by the coronavirus, according to people familiar with the matter.
FCA’s local unit is discussing the facility with lead lender Intesa Sanpaolo, the people said, asking not to be named because the matter is private.
Sace, Italy’s trade-credit insurer, will provide a public guarantee for 80 percent of the amount, they said. The guarantee would need to be granted by a decree of the Finance Ministry, the people said.
Representatives for Fiat Chrysler, Intesa and Sace declined to comment.
The automaker is seeking to shore up liquidity after burning through $5.5 billion in the first quarter while its plants were shuttered, and new-car demand stalled.
FCA and Peugeot maker PSA Group decided earlier this week to scrap the 1.1 billion-euro dividends that each agreed to pay as part of…