The Next-Generation Fiat 500e Will Be Built In Italy As Opposed To Mexico.
It’s fair to say FCA has arrived late to the electric vehicle game, not unlike the Italian carmaker mind you. They have a tendency to sit back, watch and wait to see how a product is doing before joining the party, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio being a good example of that, waiting to see if producing a sporty SUV was worthwhile, by which time every other prestige car maker was selling one. Maybe it’s an Italian thing.
However in the EV development scheme of things it’s true that Fiat have had the 500e for sale for some time but only in certain regions, mainly across the pond in the U.S but the model didn’t really do very well and Fiat lost money on every one built due to design and building costs, to the point Marchionne literally begged people not to buy it.
Now comes the news that the next generation 500 will still offer a electric version but unlike the current model built in Mexico this new model will be built in Italy, as it should be. Fiat has designed a powertrain for small fully electric cars, and the next-gen 500e will be the first car to use it.
Speaking at a recent FCA meeting CEO Mike Manley said: “Mirafiori (Turin) will represent the first installation of a full BEV platform applied on the new Fiat 500, capable of scaling to other applications worldwide. Additional investments across our Jeep, Alfa Romeo, and Fiat brands will realise the benefits of existing plant capacity as well as scale and sourcing efficiencies from a common vehicle architecture, and Plug-in Hybrid Electric propulsion (PHEV) system, while preserving traits unique to the brands.”
Pietro Gorlier, Chief Operating Officer (COO) for FCA in the EMEA region, further explained the details of the major initiatives being launched, including investment in production of the new Fiat 500 BEV at Mirafiori (Turin), and the European Jeep Compass in Melfi, leveraging the already installed vehicle platform and PHEV which underpin the Jeep Renegade. Applying that same flexible platform and PHEV technology, activities will also commence to prepare Pomigliano to produce an Alfa Romeo compact UV. A Fiat Panda MHV (Mild Hybrid Vehicle) will also be launched in Pomigliano.”
“The investment programmed for Italy over the plan period, which focuses on the use of common, flexible and electrified vehicle platforms, will reinforce the orientation of the Italian industrial footprint toward our global brands and global markets,” commented Gorlier. “In the next few months, we will be launching employee training programs focused on hybrid and electric technologies. I am convinced that, together with our workforce, we will succeed in implementing these exciting new programs in the marketplace.”