Expect a range of exciting new and updated vehicles over the next 3 years.
At a recent meeting in Mirafiori, Turin, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles laid out its product plan for Italian manufacturing plants for the 2019-2021 period. Pietro Gorlier, Chief Operating Officer for the EMEA region, presented the Group's industrial plan for Italy. In a nutshell, it will include the launch of 13 all-new or updated models during this period as well as the development of new powertrains with a major focus on hybrid and electric technologies.
One of the first steps will be to invest in the production of the new Fiat 500 Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) and the European version of the Jeep Compass. This will allow for leveraging of the currently installed vehicle platform and PHEV system that's used in the Jeep Renegade.
Gorlier went on to say that "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. 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".
This platform will also be used to produce a new Alfa Romeo Utility Vehicle and a Fiat Panda Mild Hybrid Vehicle.
Fiat currently has the 500e as its sole EV offering. While well-equipped, its limited 84-mile range and $32,995 starting price appeal to just a handful of customers each month. The new Fiat 500 BEV will have to be both cheaper and have a much longer range if it is to make a significant impact on EV sales both in Europe and the US.
With that massive cash injection into EV tech, it has a good chance of achieving those goals both with the Fiat 500 and the rest of the FCA range.