We reported recently on the major investment in the Castle Bromwich plant to produce Jaguar’s future electric vehicles and a similar plan has been announced for Fiat’s historic Mirafiori plant in Turin, reckoned to be one of the oldest European automotive factories still in operation.
Established in May 1939 and opened by Mussolini, the plant marks its 80th anniversary this year having produced more than 28,700,000 cars spread over 35 different model lines. Like Castle Bromwich, it was a major wartime production facility and also like JLR’s Birmingham plant it received a big investment during the 1970s to become its owner’s largest production site.
Fiat Chrysler Automotive (FCA) is set to invest €700 million in the plant with a staff of 1200 dedicated to producing the electric Fiat 500 BEV from April next year. The largest FCA production site in the world, the plant currently employs around 20,000 and was the production site for the original Fiat 500 in 1957.
Production of smaller Fiats moved to Poland when the 500 was replaced by the 126, but since then most mainstream Fiat models have been made at Mirafiori as well as the Alfa 166 and MiTo, Lancia Thema, Lybra and Thesis and Maserati Levante.
The revamping of the plant for the FCA electric vehicle platforms will see a total of 200 of Fiat Group’s own Comau robots eventually installed and FCA proudly trumpets the fact that the car was entirely conceived, designed and engineered in Turin. The investment in the Mirafiori facility is part of a plan to invest a total of €5bn in Italy over the next three years to support a substantial renewal of the FCA product range. Ironically, one of the announcements related to the production of a new petrol V6 engine at the Cento plant which is to be exported to the USA for use in Dodge pick-ups.