It was one of former CEO Sergio Marchionne's final wishes.
According to Reuters, Fiat Chrysler is finalizing plans to begin producing more vehicles in Italy aside from the typical Fiats. For example, the Jeep Renegade is already built in southern Italy, but a second Jeep model will also soon get underway there. Which models? The Compass, which will replace the Fiat Punto that was discontinued last August. There will also be a new “baby” Jeep slotted below the Renegade, though it’ll likely be for Europe only.
The Jeep Compass is already being built in Mexico, Brazil, China and India for those specific regions, but FCA obviously has big plans for it in Europe, hence it makes sense for more localized production. But it’s not only Jeeps that will soon call Italy their country of birth.
A new Alfa Romeo crossover, based on a Maserati (presumably the Levante) will also be manufactured in Italy in the near future. Lastly, FCA’s Italian plan also includes the production version of the Maserati Alfieri coupe and convertible. As of this writing, FCA has not officially made any announcements as officials still need to meet with Italian union bosses to further discuss the proposals. Build additional FCA vehicles in Italy is actually not a new idea.
Former FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne was the one who spearheaded this plan and was determined to see it through. The idea is to convert Italian plants where thousands of workers are on temporary layoffs, and other facilities that are running below capacity. Marchionne wanted to help revitalize auto manufacturing in his country of birth.
Converting less profitable plants that built slow-selling mass-market vehicles, such as old Fiats, into facilities that produce highly sought after Jeeps is simply smart business. Jobs will be saved and FCA can boost its margins. As for that still unnamed and unannounced Levante-based Alfa Romeo, FCA has determined it needs to further capitalize on that specific SUV platform due to slow Levante sales, mainly in China. The new Alfa SUV will be bigger than the Stelvio. The Alfieri will very appropriately be built in Maserati’s hometown of Modena.