Fiat has confirmed that it will restart assembly of the Siena at is plant in Cordoba, Argentina.

According to Brazil-based AutoData, production will begin in January 2008. The company is expected to produce around 50,000 units a year initially.

The plant was closed in 2002 in the midst of the collapse of the Argentine economy. Fiat has invested US$600m in the plant that was inaugurated in 1996. it produced the Siena for almost seven years.

According to AutoData Fiat will invest US$60m to reactivate the plant. 1,000 new jobs will be created and a further 2,000 at suppliers. One of the main costs will be restablishing a dealer network.

Fiat also confirmed the production of a medium-size pick-up in Argentina, starting at the end of 2008, as a result of an agreement with Tata, a vehicle manufacturer from India. The companies will invest a further US$90m in the plant to set up production of the pick-up and engines and transmissions.

Fiat currently assembles 1.7 litre diesel and 1.6 litre gasoline engines in Argentina for export. In May 2006, the company entered into a 10-year agreement with PSA Peugeot Citroën for the production and supply of 140,000 gearboxes per year.

The Cordoba plant has capacity to produce 160,000 vehicles a year, 190,000 engines and 260,000 transmissions.