John Elkann told reporters at this weekend’s meeting of Exor shareholders that the majority vote to move the Agnelli family holding company’s headquarters from Italy to the Netherlands, was not a symbolic choice, but a natural one. But the chairman of Exor, which controls the carmaker Fiat Chrysler, was making a false distinction. The decision is both natural and symbolic. Natural, because, since Fiat’s merger with Chrysler, the Agnelli family has controlled, through Exor, a genuinely global group. Core elements of the group have already moved to different locations, for different reasons: Fiat Chrysler itself is legally incorporated in the Netherlands and has fiscal residence in the UK, for instance. Mr Elkann — grandson of Gianni Agnelli, a global industrialist who nevertheless kept Fiat firmly in Italy — was right in saying that Exor is a “container” that is merely following its contents. Yet it is disingenuous of him to imply that Exor’s departure is not also a symbol. The T in Fiat stands for “Torino”, after all, and Turin once was home to 100,000 Fiat workers, against the 5,000 currently employed there.