Stellantis said the Fiat Doblo would become the fourth model built at its Mangualde Production Center in Portugal, joining the Peugeot Partner, Citroen Berlingo and Opel Combo LCVs on the line.
“We intend to lead the commercial vehicle market and now with the addition of the Doblo to Mangualde’s line, we will achieve greater efficiency, improve our competitiveness and offer the very best to our professional customers,” said Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares in a statement.
The announcement coincided with celebrations to mark the factory’s 60th anniversary.
Opened in 1962, Mangualde has produced 1.5 million vehicles so far. Almost one in every four vehicles produced in Portugal comes from the factory.
The plant currently builds the Berlingo Van/Berlingo, Partner/Rifter and Combo Cargo/Combo Life models [on the same platform].
The Berlingo, Partner and Combo are the top selling three LCV sales in Portugal with market share of 32%. The plant built 67,841 vehicles in 2021.
When production starts in October, the Doblo will be the fourth current model built at Mangualde and follows 22 model lines produced at the plant in its 60 years of operation.
Photovoltaic solar energy park to power 31% of plant need
Stellantis also announced the implementation of a solar photovoltaic energy capture project for self-consumption. Once fully implemented, it will cover 31% of the Mangualde plant’s annual electricity needs, allowing the annual avoidance of 2,500 tons of CO2 emissions, corresponding to the capturing of this same volume of CO2 from approximately 16,000 trees.
The EUR3.2 million investment in conjunction with Prosolia Energy will integrate 6,363 photovoltaic panels occupying an area equivalent to six football fields. It will have an installed capacity of 3,436 MWp, equivalent to the annual consumption of 320 households, allowing, increasing the competitiveness of the factory complex in a country increasingly marked by consistent peaks in energy costs.
Completion of the project’s first phase is scheduled for third quarter 2022 and phase two is planned to start early in 2023.
A sustainable energy consumption zone is also being established in collaboration with the Municipality of Mangualde and with neighboring companies, who will also benefit from the solar power.
Modernising Mangualde Production Center
The centre also houses four laboratories focused on studying and adopting new technologies or processes that enable more sustainable, more digital, and more connected production.
Founded in 2022, this “collaborative ecosystem of partners” spans startups, universities, suppliers, tech centres and the Portuguese government and is dedicated to R&D activity related to the IoT (Internet of Things), 5G (and, soon, 6G), process engineering and additive production. It also prioritises employee training.
Partners include the Polytechnic Institute of Viseu, University of Porto, University of Coimbra, as well as suppliers Simoldes and HFA and the Galicia Automotive Technology Center.