Fiat will keep SUV production in Italy image

According to the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, the Italian automaker will keep production of Jeep and Alfa Romeo sport utility vehicles (SUVs) in Italy.

The new 22-member joint management team for Fiat and U.S. automaker Chrysler did not discuss moving production of the SUVs from Fiat’s Mirafiori plant at Turin during a meeting last week, the daily said without citing sources.

Last week some internals from Fiat said that the automaker might shift production of sport utility vehicles for Jeep and Alfa Romeo to the U.S. from Italy because of the weak dollar.

“From a product-mix point of view, it makes a lot of sense,” AT Kearney analyst Marco Santino commented to Bloomberg. “The U.S. would keep know-how of SUV building, it would help the launch of Alfa Romeo in North America and it would be a more competitive product due to lower costs of production.”

Less than a year ago, Fiat invested $1.44 billion in the Turin plant in order to produce Jeep and Alfa Romeo SUVs for late 2012, but since then, the Euro has increased nearly nine percent against the american dollar.

Marchionne, while confirming his commitment to invest at the Turin facility, told Piedmont Region President Roberto Cota Aug. 29 that he may change the production plans for the plant.

“Fiat is evaluating which model it will build at Mirafiori,” Cota said after meeting the CEO.