Fiat is dismissing reports it may increase production at its Melfi plant to cope with two unidentified mini-SUVs as “entirely without foundation.”
The speculation centres on the SUVs starting production from 2014, while the Cassino plant south of Rome will build the Chrysler 100, the model that is expected to replace the Lancia Delta and is targeted at the US market.
Media speculation is that the Dodge Dart will also be built at Cassino alongside the Alfa Romeo Giulietta.
However, Fiat has poured cold water on the suggestions, noting: “Articles published referring to a so-called ‘Marchionne plan’ to be announced on 30 October are pure journalistic speculation and entirely without foundation.”
A spokesman for Fiat’s FIOM union was unable to confirm any SUV production but claimed the Melfi plant would be subject to a further period of Italy’s cassa integrazione scheme.
The cassa integrazione plan sees temporarily laid-off workers receive around 80% of their normal salary from the government.
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“There will be some stop of production as it happened last month [at] Melfi and Cassino,” the FIOM spokesman told just-auto from Italy. “Not a dramatic stop, but one or two weeks.”
Fiat in Turin was not immediately available for comment.