According to anonymous sources, Fiat plans to manufacture the next-generation 500 minicar in Poland.
Three sources told Automotive News Europe that Fiat plans to end output of the 500 minicar for North America at Chrysler’s plant in Mexico by 2015 and manufacture the model in Poland. This means additional work for the Tychy factory, which has struggled since the automaker decided to shift production of the Panda minicar to Italy.
Even if the European and the North American model of the 500 are identical in styling, their structure is quite different. The Italian automaker invested 300 million euro for the launch of the European 500 and $550 million to increase capacity with 120,000 units annually for the North American variant in Toluca.
“A single production site looks like a logical move when making the next 500 a global model,” said Massimo Vecchio, a financial analyst at Mediobanca Securities in Milan.
If Fiat will manufacture the next 500 in Poland it will increase capacity at its Tychy plant in southern Poland and will free capacity for Chrysler’s core products in Toluca. The Tychy plant manufactured 605,797 units in 2009, 300,000 units in 2012 and is expected to fall to 250,000 units this year.