In 1989 Fiat Auto launched the new quality project taking inspiration from the Japanese Toyota Motor Company strategy to respond changing production conditions all over the world. At this aim the Sata industrial complex was built in a depressed area of Basilicata, San Nicola di Melfi, to experiment an integrated factory production system. Some of the most pivotal features of this new plant were the just in time strategy and the purpose of continuous improvement involving workers in the problem-solving and decision-making processes, known as kaizen. The choice of an area without any trace of previous industrial settlements led to define Melfi plant as a greenfield and implied the negation of the traditional factory-city; however, since Sata started producing cars in 1994, the aim to overcome the crisis of Fordism clashed with workers’ discontent for night shifts, wage conditions and frictions in industrial relations.
Keywords: Prato verde, fabbrica integrata, just in time, qualita totale, kaizen, postfordismo.