It should come as no surprise that Fiat Auto decided to subcontract the engineering of the Stilo replacement to Austria's Magna Steyr. It's a global industry and, if it makes good business sense, it's only right that Italy does some cross-border subcontracting once in a while.
After all, US, British, Chinese, French, German, Indian, Japanese, South Korean, Spanish and Swedish cars are designed - and many times also engineered and fully developed - in Italy.
The Stilo will be the first Italian car engineered outside Italy.
If Magna Steyr is the only contract engineering company able to fulfill Fiat's request for a cutthroat time to market - just 20 months from design approval to start of production - then Fiat Auto CEO Sergio Marchionne was right to go to Austria.
But the decision contradicts Fiat's recent display of nationalism. Just a few months ago the company spent lots of money on an ad campaign that urged people here to buy Italian.
On April 25, in each of the country's biggest newspapers Fiat ran a half page ad dominated by the word "Danke" (thanks in German).
That was followed by text that read, "When we buy a German car, the Germans thank us."
At the bottom of the ad were the five Fiat group car brand logos - Ferrari, Lancia, Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Maserati - followed by this request, "Give us a chance."
The same ad was repeated over the next few days, but the targets were French and Japanese cars. The "Danke" became "Merci" and "Arigato" and the texts were changed accordingly.
When rumors spread through Turin in mid-June that the Stilo contract was going to a non-Italian company, critics immediately blasted Fiat for failing to do exactly what its ad had asked: Buy Italian.
Jokesters have transformed Fiat's campaign slogan to read: "Danke! When an Italian car is engineered in Austria, the Austrians say thank you."
Fiat's misguided bout of patriotism was bound to backfire. In today's car industry, there is little room for this kind of sentiment.
The company's sensible agreement with Magna proves the point. But it may now make car buyers in Italy less willing to give Fiat the chance it wants - and needs.
E-mail Chief Correspondent Luca Ciferri at l.