Fiat bets on electric '500' as it moves on from Renault

Cornelia Mascio
Luglio 12, 2019

Fiat Chrysler plans to spend 700 million euros (R11bn) to take the next-generation Fiat 500 electric as the carmaker moves on from its failed bid to merge with Renault, which is a pioneer in electric vehicles.

"The plan is confirmed", Gorlier told reporters, when asked if FCA's investment in electric vehicle technology would remain unchanged after its US$35 billion plan to merge with Renault, an electric auto pioneer, collapsed last month.

The investment will be used (in part) to build a new production line at Fiat Chrysler's plant in Turin, Italy, initially capable of building 80,000 units per year. The upcoming electric 500 will be Fiat's first EV to be marketed in Europe as the unsuccessful 500e was exclusive to the United States.

Since, previous CEO Sergio Marchionne asked customers not to purchase the vehicle in 2014 as FCA was losing cash on it, and said he would have liked to sell the most modest number conceivable.

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The original 500, launched by Fiat in the late 1950s and known affectionately as the "Cinquecento", quickly become a symbol of Italian urban design.

FCA plans to invest a total of US$5.6 billion in Italian production by 2021.

The production capacity could be expanded further, Gorlier said. In relinquishing its merger offer for Renault, FCA censured French legislative issues for leaving what might have been a milestone arrangement to make the world's third-greatest automaker.

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