Fiat readies for 500X and Jeep
The Fiat 500X and a new small Jeep crossover will be built at Fiat’s factory in Melfi, Italy, from 2014.
Auto Express (UK) reported that at an event in Melfi, factory chairman, John Elkann, and Sergio Marchionne, chairman and CEO of Fiat-Chrysler - the latter makes Jeeps - confirmed that work is already under way to prepare the factory to assemble the two new cars.
Key to this is the investment of the equivalent of about R11-billion in the Melfi plant which, Fiat claims, is now one of the world's most technologically advanced.
Both cars will be built on the Fiat-Chrysler “small wide” platform as used on the new Fiat 500L (the automaker has emphasised that the L stands for 'large', not 'long') and is essentially an bigger version of the hidden bits of a Fiat Punto.
There have been 'sneak peeks' of the 500X crossover, which joins the 500L and forthcoming 500XL in continuing Fiat’s plan to expand the 500 brand into a sub-brand of its own.
Details are yet to be revealed of the new Jeep, Auto Express says, but it will fit into a sector not previously addressed by Jeep - such as the Nissan Juke.
The Melfi plant currently assembles the Punto (and Lancia Ypsilon); the upgrades mean the 500 and Jeep can be assembled along with them to a total of 1600 a day.