Chief Executive Officer
Fiat Auto R&D U.S.A.
39300 Country Club Drive
Farmington Hills, MI 48331-3473
Dear Mr. Negro:
This responds to your letter concerning 49 CFR Part 583, Automobile Parts Content Labeling. I apologize for the delay in our response. Section 583.5(g) provides that "a manufacturer that produces a total of fewer than 1000 passenger motor vehicles in a model year" need not provide the U.S./Canadian Parts Content or Major Foreign Sources items on the vehicle label required by that regulation. You asked whether the 1000 unit threshold applies to the Alfa Romeo and Ferrari marques separately or collectively, as those marques are both owned by Fiat S.p.A. You stated that Fiat S.p.A. is the stockholder of Fiat Auto S.p.A., which produces Alfa Romeo cars, and of Ferrari S.p.A. which produces Ferrari cars. As discussed below, the 1000 vehicle threshold applies to Alfa Romeo vehicles and Ferrari vehicles separately, since they are produced by different companies.
Part 583 incorporates the statutory definition of "manufacturer" (see section 583.4(a) and 49 U.S.C. 32304(a)(7)), which reads as follows:
"Manufacturer" means a person--
(A) engaged in manufacturing or assembling new passenger motor vehicles;
(B) importing new passenger motor vehicles for resale; or
(C) acting for and under the control of such a manufacturer, assembler, or importer in connection with the distribution of new passenger motor vehicles.
The term "person" is defined at section 583.4(b) as "an individual, partnership, corporation, business trust, or any organized group of persons."
Under these definitions, both the European producer and the importer are considered manufacturers of Alfa Romeo and Ferrari passenger motor vehicles. Therefore, both the producer and the importer are subject to Part 583.
In applying section 583.5(g) in the context of your question, we would focus on the European producer rather than the importer. This is because that section provides that "a manufacturer that produces a total of fewer than 1000 passenger motor vehicles in a model year" need not provide the U.S./Canadian Parts Content or Major Foreign Sources items on the vehicle label required by that regulation. Since Alfa Romeo vehicles and Ferrari vehicles are produced by different European companies, the 1000 vehicle threshold applies to them separately. I note that, as discussed in the final rule preamble, only passenger vehicles manufactured for sale in the United States are counted toward the 1000 vehicle threshold.
This interpretation is limited to section 583.5(g). The statutory provisions for other programs administered by NHTSA have different purposes and different definitions of "manufacturer." Also, the CAFE statute has special provisions concerning manufacturers that are within a control relationship. Therefore, this interpretation should not be applied outside the context of section 583.5(g).
I hope this information has been helpful. If you have any other questions or need some additional information in this area, please contact Edward Glancy of my staff at this address or by phone at (202) 366-2992.
Philip R. Recht Chief Counsel