Fiat Chrysler Automobiles ‘s production site in Tychy, Poland will commence output of restyled versions of the Fiat 500 and Lancia Ypsilon this year, two sources privy with the matter told Reuters. The move is seen to help increase volume of the models as well as offset the lost production that will occur when the site stops building the Ford Ka.
One of the sources told Reuters that the production of the models in Poland will keep its output stable when the collaboration with Ford ends by March or May 2016. A spokesman for Ford said in an e-mail it was already announced that current Ka built in Poland would go out of production in the next couple of years.
Ford unveiled a Ka concept vehicle in December 2013 and announced that a production version would be rolled out in Europe, although the carmaker was silent about is timing. The Tychy site was sidelined when FCA shifted production of the Fiat Panda to Italy in 2011 as it tried to appease politicians eager to protect jobs.
This resulted to sending home of hundreds of Tychy workers. The site currently builds around 300,000 vehicles a year, including the Fiat 500. FCA chief executive Sergio Marchionne has been silent about a complete overhaul of the 500 as well as on his plans for the Tychy facility.
While he says that Poland is "safe as an asset", he is prioritizing FCA’s underutilized plants in Italy to build vehicles for Maserati, Alfa Romeo and Jeep for export. Suppliers expect the site to build a new B-segment model that will go down the production line late 2016.