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November 29, 2018

FCA commits to invest in EV platform in Italy

At a meeting between FCA and labour unions in Turin, FCA has committed to invest more than EUR5bn in Italy over the 2019-2021 period.

By Sam Duke

At a meeting between FCA and labour unions in Turin, FCA has committed to invest more than EUR5bn in Italy over the 2019-2021 period.

FCA said the investments will be focused on full electric and hybrid powertrains with the first installation of a dedicated small Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) platform, with initial application on the new Fiat 500 BEV.

The company also said there would be strong synergies achieved through common application of electrified powertrains and platform sharing, alongside the ‘optimal use of existing Italian industrial footprint and available capacity’.

At the meeting held today at Mirafiori (Turin) between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and the trade unions, a collective labour agreement applicable to FCA Group companies in Italy was signed.

FCA CEO Mike Manley opened the meeting and said: “Mirafiori 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 for the EMEA region, presented the group’s industrial plan for Italy, which includes the launch of 13 all-new or restyled models during the 2019-2021 period, and the development of new powertrain solutions with a significant focus on hybrid and electric technologies.

In particular, Pietro Gorlier further explained the details of the major initiatives to be launched in the next few weeks, 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.

In addition, Gorlier announced a new module at Termoli for production of turbo, naturally aspirated and hybrid versions of the 1.0L and 1.3L FireFly gasoline engine.

The planned initiatives across vehicles and powertrain systems will leverage existing capacity, FCA said,  providing a ‘clear product mission for the Italian plants and enabling a return to full employment’.

FCA said investment in Italy over the 2019-2021 period will total more than EUR5bn.

“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,” said 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”.

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