Fiat to build two small SUVs at the Melfi plant, report says image

Fiat Group has abandoned the idea of closing its Mirafiori plant in Turin and is considering producing two new small SUVs in the Melfi plant from 2014.

According to a report from daily newspaper Il Messaggero, the two SUVs destined for the Melfi plant will be Fiat and Jeep brands. Fiat will center its new business plan around ways to increase Italian production for export, wrote the daily, quoting details of the plan Fiat is expected to present to the market on October 30.

Fiat will hold a very important meeting on Sunday and Monday to decide future manufacturing allocations in Italy. Had Fiat closed down its historic Mirafiori plant, it would have reduced the company’s expected 2012 losses, Il Messaggero said.

In order to boost exports, Fiat’s plant in Cassino, between Rome and Naples, is likely to build the Chrysler 100 model, which will replace the Lancia Delta and is aimed mostly at the U.S. market. The plant will also build the next generation Alfa Romeo Giulietta, which will also be exported to the United States.

Fiat’s sales in Europe have dropped to their lowest level since the 1970s. On Tuesday, the industry organization ACEA said that Fiat Group sales in the EU and EFTA markets fell 16.8 percent in the last nine months, while the overall fall in the region was 7.2 percent.