Fiat develops its first dedicated BEV platform for the all-new electric 500.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) changes its approach towards electrification.

The company announced that over the 2019-2021 period, it will invest more than €5 billion in Italy. According to Pietro Gorlier, Chief Operating Officer for the EMEA region, the investment includes "the development of new powertrain solutions with a significant focus on hybrid and electric technologies".

The most important news is that Fiat will develop a dedicated small Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) platform.

The first model that will use the new platform will be an all-new Fiat 500 BEV.

We assume that the all-electric Fiat 500 will not only replace the current Fiat 500e available in some U.S. states, but will be introduced on a larger scale and finally be sold in Europe. The scale simply has to be high to justify a new platform compared to doing a conversion of an existing ICE model over to an electric version.

The new electric 500 is also expected to be produced in Italy (the current 500e is produced in Mexico).

News about electrification and new investments in Italy that will result in 13 all-new or restyled models during the 2019-2021 period were announced after talks with trade union signatories, which pushes Fiat to return to full employment in Italy.

"A meeting was held today at Mirafiori (Turin) between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and the trade union signatories to the collective labor agreement applicable to Group companies in Italy. During the meeting, management presented the product plan for Italian plants that will support implementation of the 2018-2022 Business Plan presented at FCA's Capital Markets Day last June in Balocco."

"Pietro Gorlier, Chief Operating Officer for the EMEA region, presented the Group's industrial plan for Italy, which includes the launch of 13 all-new or restyled models during the 2019-2021 period, and the development of new powertrain solutions with a significant focus on hybrid and electric technologies.

In particular, Pietro Gorlier further explained the details of the major initiatives to be launched in the next few weeks, including investment in production of the new Fiat 500 BEV at Mirafiori (Turin), and the European Jeep Compass in Melfi, leveraging the already installed vehicle platform and PHEV which underpin the Jeep Renegade. Applying that same flexible platform and PHEV technology, activities will also commence to prepare Pomigliano to produce an Alfa Romeo compact UV. A Fiat Panda MHV (Mild Hybrid Vehicle) will also be launched in Pomigliano."

"The planned initiatives across vehicles and powertrain systems will leverage existing capacity, providing a clear product mission for the Italian plants and enabling a return to full employment."

FCA CEO Mike Manley opened the meeting and said:

"Mirafiori will represent the first installation of a full BEV platform applied on the new Fiat 500, capable of scaling to other applications worldwide. Additional investments across our Jeep, Alfa Romeo, and Fiat brands will realize the benefits of existing plant capacity as well as scale and sourcing efficiencies from a common vehicle architecture, and Plug-in Hybrid Electric propulsion (PHEV) system, while preserving traits unique to the brands".

Pietro Gorlier, Chief Operating Officer for the EMEA region said:

"The investment programmed for Italy over the plan period, which focuses on the use of common, flexible and electrified vehicle platforms, will reinforce the orientation of the Italian industrial footprint toward our global brands and global markets. In the next few months, we will be launching employee training programs focused on hybrid and electric technologies. I am convinced that, together with our workforce, we will succeed in implementing these exciting new programs in the marketplace".

Source: Fiat

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