FCA Spending 1.1 Billion On New Fiat's and Alfa . . . No New Chrysler Or Dodge Products
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plans to invest almost 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) to start production of the new Alfa Romeo Tonale compact crossover and a Panda hybrid minicar at its Pomigliano plant near Naples in Italy, unions said on Wednesday.
The investment is part of a FCA's plan announced last year to spend 5 billion euros in Italy up to 2021 to help the group launch its first electric and hybrid models and to fill capacity utilization at its Italian plants.
FCA will start building the new production line at the start of next year, metal mechanic unions FIM, UILM, FISMIC, UGLM and AQCF said in a statement after meeting FCA.
An FCA spokesman confirmed the unions' statement, adding the investment for the two models would be "closer to 1 billion than 500 million euros."
The spokesman said a premium compact utility vehicle would be produced at the Pomigliano plant, along with a hybrid Panda, but did not confirm it was the Alfa Romeo Tonale.
Production of the hybrid Panda is expected to start in the first half of next year, while Tonale output will begin in the first half of 2021.
Alfa revealed the Tonale concept in March. The production version will be positioned below the Stelvio.
FCA has already begun investing to prepare the Pomigliano factory for production. The plant already produces internal combustion Panda cars.
Earlier this year, FCA said it was investing 700 million euros to start building the production line for the new Fiat 500 electric in its historic Mirafiori plant in Turin, as the carmaker moved on from its failed $35 billion bid to merge with Renault. Production will start in the second quarter of 2020.
This all comes at a rather confounding time as Fiat pulls their 500 and 500e from the US market and Alfa Romeo is seeing a huge sales slumps over the previous year. Besides Jeep and Ram, all other FCA vehicles are seeing declines due to product starvation. Even more concerning is that FCA is investing in two products that will likely not sell as well. Most of FCA's profits come from the United States and they have been neglecting that market with their two storied brands; Chrysler and Dodge. Could these lead as a new basis for future Chrysler / Dodge products? FCA did not answer.