Fiat Group will retire the production of the Punto and Mito and move the Fiat Panda production to Poland. Fiat’s current plants in Turin and Naples will instead make premium models
The move is set to be officially announced at the start of June and will result in Panda production transferring to Poland where the 500, Abarth 595 and Lancia Ypsilon are currently produced. FCA’s plants in Naples and Turin, which currently produce the Alfa Romeo Mito and the Panda, will be retooled to produce Maserati and Jeep models; the Turin factory already handles Maserati Levante production.
The Punto, currently produced in FCA’s Melfi plant, will be axed after a production run of over 13 years. The Mito, which was introduced in 2008, will also be culled. The Mito’s production line will be replaced by that of a second Maserati SUV.
This strategy will better allow FCA to implement hybrids into its lineup, according to sources close to the plan. The car giant will abandon diesel-engined models by 2022 and plans a range of performance hybrids at the top of its luxury car ranges. Its roll-out of electric vehicles will start with the Maserati Alfieri in 2020.
It’s believed that the plan plays to FCA’s strengths; a burgeoning catalogue of premium brands, and a booming SUV segment, while Fiat’s own-brand cars outside of the 500 remain relatively unloved by the public, hence the move to areas of production where they can be more profitably made.
The ambitious plan is thought to be the parting shot of outgoing chief executive Sergio Marchionne and is aimed at making FCA competitive on the global automotive stage. The 65-year-old retires from his position at the helm of the Italo-American car giant next year.