Six-month orders of the Fiat 500L minivan in the U.S. through February have surpassed the target, according to Antonio Cesare Ferrara, head of Fiat Automobili Srbija. As a result, its plant in Serbia estimates that it will be able to deliver 110,000 to 150,000 vehicles this year. From September to February, the orders that Fiat received for this model totalled to over 40,000 cars.
Ferrara said that it continues to produce different versions of the 500L model, which include a U.S. version. Ferrara added that its orders are slightly higher than the target. Fiat will continue to invest in its vehicle-manufacturing joint venture with the government in Serbia and will add over 600 jobs to 2,500-strong workforce.
He said that this plant in Kragujevac sends out most of its cars to western Europe and that it could get customs-free access to the Russian market if Serbia convinces Russia to widen their free-trade arrangement to include vehicles. He said that production is sure to grow if it can offer its vehicles in Russia without customs.
The 500L started selling in Europe last November as a replacement for the Idea small minivan. The vehicle is expected to be launched this June in the U.S. Scheduled for release in April and May are a crossover version dubbed the 500L Trekking and a seven-seat option named the 500XL. Fiat invested one billion euros for enhancements to the Kragujevac plant, which produced Yugo cars previously.