Vice president of Fiat Auto SpA hospitalized in Turin for drug overdose

Lapo Elkann, a member of Italy's Agnelli business dynasty and a vice president of Fiat Auto SpA, was hospitalized Monday in Turin for a drug overdose, a city official said.

The Italian news agency ANSA said Elkann, 28, was taken in by ambulance to the hospital in serious condition after falling ill in an apartment in Turin, where automaker Fiat has its headquarters. It later reported, quoting unidentified health officials, that Elkann's life "is not in danger."

The affable but intense Elkann is in charge of brand promotion at Fiat, a closely watched role as the carmaker tries to revamp its line of models and turn around its sagging fortunes.

Elkann's older brother, John, is vice chairman of Fiat and is being groomed to take over the auto giant, Italy's largest non-state company, the AP reports.

The brothers are grandsons of Giovanni "Gianni" Agnelli, the late Fiat chairman. Their mother, Margherita, is the daughter of Gianni Agnelli, and their father, Margherita's former husband, is Alain Elkann.

Because it is a drug case, police and prosecutors were investigating, Italian news reports said. Turin police officials were not immediately available for comment, and telephones at the prosecutors' office were not answered early Monday afternoon. A.M.

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