FCA will axe the Punto and Mito and move Panda production to Poland; plants in Turin and Naples will instead make premium models

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is to halt production of Fiat cars in Italy and instead focus on building the models of its more premium brands in the country, according to a report by news agency Bloomberg.

The move is set to be officially announced at the start of June and will result in Panda production transferring to Poland where the 500Abarth 595 and Lancia Ypsilon are currently produced. FCA's plants in Naples and Turin, which currently produce the Alfa Romeo Mito and the Panda, will be retooled to produce Maserati and Jeep models; the Turin factory already handles Maserati Levante production. 

The Punto, currently produced in FCA’s Melfi plant, will be axed after a production run of over 13 years. The Mito, which was introduced in 2008, will also be culled. The Mito’s production line will be replaced by that of a second Maserati SUV. 

This strategy will better allow FCA to implement hybrids into its lineup, according to sources close to the plan. The car giant will abandon diesel-engined models by 2022 and plans a range of performance hybrids at the top of its luxury car ranges. Its roll-out of electric vehicles will start with the Maserati Alfieri in 2020. 

It’s believed that the plan plays to FCA’s strengths; a burgeoning catalogue of premium brands, and a booming SUV segment, while Fiat’s own-brand cars outside of the 500 remain relatively unloved by the public - hence the move to areas of production where they can be more profitably made. 

Fiat’s UK sales for the year so far are down almost 30% compared with the same period last year. Jeep and Maserati sales are down by similar figures, which are above the average losses experienced by many makes amid the UK car industry downturn. Alfa Romeo’s sales in the UK are also down, but only by 11% - in line with the rest of the industry. The revitalised premium brand’s sales across the globe increased 60% in 2017 over the previous year.  

The ambitious plan is thought to be the parting shot of outgoing chief executive Sergio Marchionne and is aimed at making FCA competitive on the global automotive stage. The 65-year-old retires from his position at the helm of the Italo-American car giant next year. 

Autocar is awaiting comment from an FCA spokesperson.

Read more:

Fiat’s European focus to be rebuilt around 500 family

Alfa Romeo to bolster SUV range with performance hybrids and larger model

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to abandon diesel engines by 2022

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8

18 May 2018

Fiats own brand of cars outside of the 500 are unloved, I thought the panda was popular, making it cheaper to build makes sense, also maybe they should have shorter lifes, the grande punto when launched was popular, and one of the best looking superminis, but it became uncompetitive a long time ago.

19 May 2018

Without jeep and Ram, this whole group will be on it knees. They generate majority of the profit and the reason why Alfa is still being given time to make a comeback. Surely it’s a matter of time before a activist investor pressures for a breakup which will cripple any comeback from the Italians.

 

si73 wrote:

Fiats own brand of cars outside of the 500 are unloved, I thought the panda was popular, making it cheaper to build makes sense, also maybe they should have shorter lifes, the grande punto when launched was popular, and one of the best looking superminis, but it became uncompetitive a long time ago.

18 May 2018
The abandonment of diesel has a pace all of its own.

18 May 2018
Out globalist car makers have turned to countries like Turkey (Fiat, Renault) and Morocco (Dacia) to throw their cars together. Now the EU wants a trade deal with Mexico.... I wonder why?

19 May 2018
SmokingCoal wrote:

Out globalist car makers have turned to countries like Turkey (Fiat, Renault) and Morocco (Dacia) to throw their cars together. Now the EU wants a trade deal with Mexico.... I wonder why?

Mexico already already builds cars for VAG - Audi Q5, VW Beetle, VW Jetta and probably others. The Polo comes from South Africa in certain trim Hungary puts a few Audi’s together.

Im amazed how much Fiat have been left to dwindle into nothing such a shame really. The premium models they talk are not really that competitive neither and also sell in low numbers. 

This would of been a chance for Fiat to go back to its stylish cheap and cheerful routes, bit like Dacia has for Renault.

19 May 2018
SmokingCoal wrote:

Out globalist car makers have turned to countries like Turkey (Fiat, Renault) and Morocco (Dacia) to throw their cars together. Now the EU wants a trade deal with Mexico.... I wonder why?

Did you stumble in to the wrong thread by mistake? This has nothing to do with Mexico or E.U. trade policy
The model 169 Panda was built very well in Tychy, Poland and FIAT at a time when it was not doing well financially bowed to pressure from the Italian Government acting at the behest of the powerful Italian Unions(Think of British Leyland during the 70s) to repatriate the production for Panda model 319. That didn't go well. The Italian factories are unproductive and produce shoddy product at a high price. Polish 169 Pandas were cost competitive and consistently well built in greater numbers than the model 319
As the Tychy plant is underutilzed since demand for Ypsilon and 500 have waned it makes perfect sense to move small car manufacture back there.
The European plant for the new FIAT small gasoline "firefly" engine is opening in Poland so it makes perfect sense for the production of the cars which will use this engine to be located nearby.
Poland and the other Countries you mention along with BRICS are growth markets not mature markets and Management will divert investment to growth markets as they chase growth where ever possible. Investing in mature markets at the expense of growth markets does not produce growth and these factories generally only export a minority of their product back to the old world economies.
I repeat that this has nothing to do with Mexico or E.U. trade policy.

18 May 2018

It's a wonder Mike Hawes from the SMMT hasn't blamed this on Brexit.

20 May 2018
scotty5 wrote:

It's a wonder Mike Hawes from the SMMT hasn't blamed this on Brexit.

 

...or Trump

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