Fiat Chrysler begins building a new assembly line for the new-generation Fiat 500e battery-electric vehicle (BEV) at one of the automaker’s oldest production plants.
While the Mirafiori plant in Turin in northern Italy celebrates its 80th anniversary of automobile production, the first state-of-the-art Comau robot has been installed to handle construction of the BEV. Following this installation, the rest of the plant will be retooled over the coming months.
The body shop alone will have 200 robots, allowing a fully automated welding process.
About 1,200 people will be dedicated to production of the Fiat 500e, and the new assembly line will have an annual capacity of 80,000 units, with potential for expansion.
Manufacture of the first preproduction models is to begin by year’s end, with production launching during second-quarter 2020.
Investment for the project, including design, development, engineering and construction of the assembly line, totals $786 million.
FCA’s broader investment plan for Italy over the 2019-2021 period will see an investment of $5.6 billion to support renewal of its product range with the introduction of 13 new or significantly refreshed models and a comprehensive offering of EVs, including 12 electrified versions of new or existing models.
“This car was entirely conceived, designed and engineered here,” says Pietro Gorlier, FCA chief operating officer for the EMEA region. “It is a genuine product of ‘Made at Fiat’ and ‘Made in Turin’ ingenuity. In Turin, we are developing a new electric mobility center of excellence which currently employs 260 people.
The Fiat 500 BEV project will be followed by renewal of the Maserati range, starting with the Levante, Gorlier says.