FCA will invest over 5 billion in Italy over the next three years
FCA will invest over 5 billion euros in the development of new models and engines in Italy over the next three years, to try to make better use of factories in the country and boost jobs, with the aim of increasing margins.
The plans are intended to deliver on a strategy outlined by FCA's late boss Sergio Marchionne in June, in which he made a commitment to keep converting Italian plants to build higher margin Alfa Romeos, Jeeps and Maseratis, and hybrid and electric versions of its vehicles to protect jobs and lift profitability.
FCA plans to build an Alfa Romeo compact SUV at its Pomigliano plant and a battery-powered Fiat 500 in its Mirafiori factory in Turin. Pomigliano also will produce a mild-hybrid version of the Fiat Panda hatchback.
Production of European versions of the Jeep Compass compact SUV will be added at FCA's Melfi plant in central Italy. The factory already produces the Jeep Renegade.
Whereas FCA's Cassino plant would get a re-styling of the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Stelvio models and it will also produce a medium-size Maserati SUV.
FCA also plans to expand production capacity at its joint venture with PSA Group, which assembles the Ducato light commercial vehicle, given healthy demand.
These are investments that are capable of being implemented and kick off tomorrow morning" FCA's new European head, Pietro Gorlier, told reporters yesterday during a meeting in Turin, pointing out that further plans for Italy and other plants in Europe (Poland, Serbia and Turkey) will be announced at a later stage.
Gorlier said that investments are based on market prospects considered "substantially stable" in the coming years, although a slight contraction is expected in 2020 following the introduction of stricter emission standards.
Gorlier also stated that previously announced target to discontinue production of diesel passenger cars in Europe by 2021 was "too aggressive" and the company would keep producing diesel models beyond that date.
But he confirmed the overall trend towards a gradual shift from diesel engines to other forms of propulsion.