26.11.2010 FIAT PROPOSES NEW PLANS FOR MIRAFIORI'S FUTURE

ALFA ROMEO

Today, in a meeting held at Unione Industriale di Torino, Fiat Group CEO, Sergio Marchionne, presented the trade unions with a proposal to boost output at Mirafiori by building new D-segment and SUV-style vehicles based on the new, larger derivatives of the "C-Evo" platform which already underpins the new Alfa Romeo Giulietta.

The "C-Evo" platform, which debuted this year on the Giulietta, is set to become one of the most important architectures in the Fiat and Chrysler engineering portfolio and it has already been widened by 1.6 inch for use in particular by Chrysler Group products and that revised platform, dubbed "C-Evo Wide" has then been further stretched to become D-Evo. Widening C-Evo will also allow the new "Pentastar" V6 to be fitted in the engine bay which currently doesn't allow for this option. All three platform spin-offs will be able to be built down one line at Mirafiori.

The announcement today noted that: "This platform represents the most advanced architecture available today, originally designed as the base for the Giulietta and further developed at Chrysler. This universal platform is to be shared by the two Groups and will be used for development of all future C & D segment passenger cars and SUVs."

The press release today only mentions Jeep and Alfa Romeo as being brands set to to produce larger models at Mirafiori, the new Jeep Cherokee/Liberty and Alfa Romeo Giulia (replacing the 159) will both be underpinned by the forthcoming D-Evo platform, but a whole cluster of Fiat and Chrysler models are set to be rolled out across C- and D-segments from this architecture in the next few years: Chrysler and Dodge are both earmarked to add a new compact sedan to their ranges mounted on the C-Evo Wide underpinnings while Jeep's single-model replacement for the Patriot and Compass will also be mounted on the C-Evo Wide architecture. Stepping up a class the next-generation 200 [Sebring] and Avenger will both be mounted on D-Evo.

The statement today also said that: "Models produced by the new company at Mirafiori will also be exported outside the European Union. More than half of production will be for international markets, particularly North America. These will be flagship models for Jeep and Alfa Romeo, the most international brands of the two Groups with significant development potential globally. More than 1 billion euros in investment is planned, to be split between Fiat and Chrysler in proportion to volumes produced for each brand.

"Bringing this new platform to Mirafiori will result in potential production of up to more than 1,000 vehicles per day or some 250,000-280,000 vehicles per year, resulting in full utilization of the current workforce and opening the way for potential new jobs. In addition to the Group's commitment, the support of trade unions and employees is essential to realization of this project and to guarantee the plant the necessary level of competitiveness in terms of capacity utilization, productivity and operational flexibility.

"The Fiat CEO expressed his intention to initiate the project immediately, as rapid implementation would enable the plant to be reconfigured in time for the launch of the future Jeep and Alfa Romeo models, planned for the 3rd/4th quarter of 2012. This is an extraordinary opportunity for Italian industry to produce cars of quality and prestige. Mirafiori has all the elements necessary to achieve a leap of quality and become a world class plant, producing cars for Europe, North America and other markets around the world. This project is the first tangible example of the benefits brought by the Chrysler alliance to Italian operations and it is significant that it should take place at Mirafiori, the symbol of this nation's industrial and automotive culture."
 

2010 Interfuture Media/Italiaspeed