While people are concentrating on the restructuring within GM or the financial crisis with Ford, Fiat Chrysler is quietly readying a plan of its own. While the hybrid American-Italian automaker has enjoyed some surprisingly solid sales lately, it’s not waiting for things to get bad again to act. Instead, it’s gearing up to do the opposite of what you might expect: making more vehicles in Italy.
You probably didn’t realize Sergio Marchionne originally formulated this plan, which aims to boost sales in the European market. It’s bold and just the sort of thing the deceased CEO would have declared in fiery matter. FCA is expected to make this plan public on Thursday.
Reportedly, we’ll see several new models produced in Italian factories, and some might even make their way across the pond to the U.S. Multiples will be Jeeps, which is no surprise, considering the brand is FCA’s cash cow. Another would be an Alfa Romeo SUV, presumably larger than the Stelvio, which has been rumored for some time. A Maserati sports car is also on the list of possibilities.
FCA’s Italian plants have been running well below capacity, thanks in part to failures in the Fiat brand. This should appease Italian unions and perhaps boost FCA to a financial position beyond Ford and even GM.