Fiat-Chrysler plans to manufacture 280, 000 small SUVs annually for Fiat and Jeep in Italy.
Production of the small SUVs will begin in June 2014, with a Jeep model and then the Fiat 500X. The automaker plans to manufacture 150, 000 Jeep vehicles annually and 130,000 Fiat 500X units, with two suppliers involved in this plan. In December Fiat announced it will make an investment of more than 1 billion euro to start production for the SUVs at its Melfi plant, in Italy, as this is essential for the automaker to be able to stem losses in Europe.
The Italian automaker plans to introduce 19 new models by 2016 all manufactured in its home market, including 6 Maserati models and 9 Alfa Romeo models. Fiat and Chrysler plan to increase production in Europe to 2 million units by 2016, from 1.2 million units in 2012. Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne is confident that by using the plants in Italy to export vehicles globally, Fiat’s European operations will reach the break-even level by 2015-2016.
Analysts predict that the small SUV segment will reach sales of 500,000 units in Europe by 2015, an increase from 154,461 units in 2012. From January to May, Nissan sold 48,043 Jukes, from 44,379 in 2012 and the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka sold 32,342 units during the same period. HIS predicts that the Peugeot 2008 will quickly become the no.1 in this segment, as there is already higher-than-expected demand for the model.