by Bill Cawthon • Posted on December 20th, 2012
With Italian Prime Minister Mario Monte watching, Fiat Group Chairman John Elkann and Fiat/Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne announced plans to build a new Jeep and a new Fiat at the plant in Melfi, Italy. Production will begin in 2014.
Following an investment of more than $1.3 billion, Melfi will be one of the most advanced assembly plants in the world. The changes and improvements have already begun.
Those upgrades include modifications to accommodate the new modular Small Wide platform that easily be adapted to produce larger vehicles. The platform is already compliant with U.S. standards meaning that vehicles produced at the Melfi plant will be export ready without for further modifications.
The first of the two new models will be a Jeep that marks the brand’s entrance into a new market segment. Melfi will be the only plant in the world to produce this model, which will be sold worldwide. Melfi will also build the 500X, which is larger, more spacious and more capable than the 500L launched three months ago.
Once the plant upgrades are complete, Melfi will have increased flexibility with the ability to produce up to four different models on the same assembly line.
Total production capacity based on three shifts will be 1,600 vehicles per day
NHRA Pro Stock points leader Erica Enders-Stevens didn’t race at Sonoma and she won’t be competing at the Northwest Nationals in Seattle.
Elite Motorsports owner Richard Freeman two-event “holiday” at the Mile-High Nationals in Denver.
Despite her very impressive racing resume, Enders-Stevens lacks a real sponsor and it’s likely this was a major consideration, especially since she had built up a 241-point lead over Allen Johnson, who is second in the point standings, at the end of the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio....
Jeg Coughlin Jr. became the second Mopar driver to clinch a spot in the six-race Countdown to the Championship that will determine the Mello Yello NHRA Pro Stock world championship.
Coughlin joined teammate Allen Johnson in the Countdown after making it to the Pro Stock semifinals in the NHRA Sonoma Nationals that ran this weekend at Sonoma Raceway....
Allen Johnson has secured his place in the Pro Stock Countdown to the Championship, the six-event series the determines the World Championships of drag racing.
Johnson joins Erica Enders-Stevens, who clinched her spot last weekend. Participation is limited to the top ten drivers in each pro class.
There were three different top qualifiers in Pro Stock: Johnson had the No....
Three-time series champion Scott Steckly earned his first win of the 2014 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series season Saturday in the National 250 at the Autodrome St. Eustache in St. Eustache, Quebec.
Starting from the No. 2 spot, Steckly dominated the race in the No. 22 Canadian Tire/Sylvania Dodge, leading for 202 of the 250 laps and beating Alex Guenette and the No....