The Economy Ministry said that Serbian government officials were shown two models by Fiat S.p.A. These are the two vehicles that will be produced at its plant in the Balkan country and exported to the European Union and the US.
In the second quarter of 2012, Fiat’s factory in Kragujevac will be producing a five-seat model designed for the EU and a seven-seat vehicle to be sold there and in the US.
After the officials’ visit to Fiat headquarters in Turin, Mladjan Dinkic, Serbia’s deputy prime minister in charge of economy, sent an email about these plans.
The ministry said that because of this project, 1,433 jobs will be added to the current work force of 1,000 at the plant. In addition, capacity will reach 200,000 cars a year, and an expansion to 300,000 vehicles will be made possible.
The ministry also said that exports of the models in 2012 would total about 500 million euros ($697 million) and increase to 1.3 billion euros in 2013.
This would be equivalent to about 20% of Serbia’s sales abroad in 2009. Fiat, which is Italy’s biggest carmaker, had established a joint venture with Serbia’s government two years ago, getting a 67% stake in a partnership that acquired state-owned carmaker Zastava.
Plans for the new models were put on hold because of the global recession but these plans are now being revived. The plant at Kragujevac produces about 20,000 Fiat Punto compacts a year, which are being sold in Serbia and abroad. Similar to its statement last July, the ministry had said that test production of the new models will start next year. [via autonews - sub. required]