Factories will be retooled for Maserati and Jeep crossovers
Fiat Chrysler (FCA) is reportedly planning to end production of Fiat-branded cars at the company’s Italian factories, with some model lines being scuttled and others moved overseas to lower cost facilities.
Bloomberg understands FCA boss Sergio Marchionne will announce the plan on June 1, 2018.
It’s understood Marchionne, who will retire next year, doesn’t believe manufacturing affordable vehicles in high-wage European countries is sustainable anymore.
According to the business site’s sources, the Punto (above), which was launched in 2005, and is currently being produced at the FCA’s Melfi production site, will be axed.
At the Mirafiori plant in Turin, the Alfa Romeo Mito, introduced in 2008, will be given its last rites. The once mighty factory, which has seen its annual volumes drop from 600,000 to around 50,000, will continue to produce the Maserati Levante, and gain a new Maserati crossover.
Production of the Panda will move from Pomigliano in Naples, to Poland. The Italian factory will be retooled to crank out a new small Jeep model.
Bloomberg understands the European Fiat range will be pared back to just the 500 and Panda (above). If so, this could spell the end of the 500X, which is currently produced alongside the Jeep Renegade at the company’s Melfi factory.
It should be noted, a facelifted 500X was spied in March this year.
If this anticipated changeover goes through as reported, factories which once cranked out models like the original 500 and 124, and put Italy on wheels after World War II, will be used exclusively for Jeep crossovers, and the Alfa Romeo and Maserati luxury brands.
Currently Fiat’s European passenger car lineup consists of the 500 (Poland), 500L (Serbia), 500X (Italy), Panda (Italy), Tipo (Turkey), Punto (Italy), and 124 Spider (Japan). There’s also the Qubo and Doblo vans (Turkey), and Fullback ute (Thailand).
MORE: Fiat news, reviews, comparisons and video
MORE: Everything Jeep
MORE: Maserati news, reviews, comparisons and video