Fiat may close 2 Italian plants if plans to export to U.S. won’t materialize

Article by Christian A., on February 25, 2012

Fiat may have to shut down two facilities in Italy due to the weak auto demand in Europe if the plans for exporting to the United States market do not materialize, according to CEO Sergio Marchionne. He added that Chrysler plants in the U.S. were already operating at full capacity. He also disclosed that facilities in Canada, Europe or Mexico are required to fill a third of the demand in the U.S.

This means that the Italian sites of Fiat had the chance to export to the U.S., he informed Italian daily Corriere della Sera in the interview. Marchionne told the paper that all the facilities will "remain where they are," but it will have to withdraw from two of the five facilities in Italy if the exporting to the U.S. will not happen.

The CEO also said that the new labor agreement of Fiat provides the automaker's facilities in Italy the adequate competitiveness to export to the U.S. He did not identify the two facilities concerned. Fiat also declined to provide a comment to Automotive News Europe. According to Automotive News Europe sources, however, the plants of Fiat in Cassino, Central Italy, and Mirafiori, Turin, may be at risk.

The Mirafiori plant manufactures the Fiat Punto, Lancia Musa and Alfa Romeo MiTo. It has a capacity of 200,000 units. The facility is set to manufacture a new compact Jeep beginning in 2014. Dubbed B-SUV, this new Jeep will be sold in Europe and the U.S., among other markets. 

On the other hand, the Cassino facility has an annual capacity of 300,000 units. It produces the Fiat Bravo, the Lancia Delta and the Alfa Giulietta compact vehicles. The next-generation Giulietta is planned to be exported to the U.S., allowing the Cassino factory the additional volume required to remain open.

Alfa Romeo Giulietta is bringing you a completely new platform called Compact. This new platform is designed to satisfy even the most demanding of customers in terms of agility, road-holding, and safety. The new car promises excellent dynamic performance and superior comfort levels, with the help of refined technical solutions that are used for the car’s suspension, as well as a new-generation steering system, avant-garde manufacturing techniques, and light and rigid structure that is made of materials like high-strength steels and aluminium.

Moreover, the Compact platform will also allow the Giulietta to accommodate customer needs in this category. It combines on-board comfort, generous boot space, and functional interiors with dynamic qualities that every Alfa Romeo vehicle possesses.

Furthermore, comfort and driving satisfaction can be adapted in order to meet the specific needs of every customer, thanks to the DNA selector. The Alfa DNA selector is a device that customizes a vehicle's behavior in order to suit various road conditions as well as different driving styles. What’s more, this new platform was designed to integrate different systems as well as to fully exploit each of these systems, thus emphasizing these 3 set-up functions: Normal, Dynamic, and All Weather.

These functions are available through the DNA selector. This device, which is included as standard in the new model’s entire range, is designed to alter the engine’s operating parameters, as well as that of the gearbox, the steering system, and the Q2 electronic differential. This is also in addition to the Vehicle Dynamic Control system’s behavior logic.

Additionally, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta’s perfect blend of style and athleticism redefines the technological standards and the emotional values of the brand.

Its front showcases a new interpretation of the brand’s classic shield, which is embedded in its front bumper and is suspended between its air vents. This is actually the starting point for Giulietta’s entire design, which joins together an energetic personality and a distinctly elegant form. Lastly, the car’s front headlights feature DRL with LED technology, as well as a day light function to provide maximum active safety.

Topics: fiat, united states

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