Sunday 28 October 2007

FIAT 500 production expands to 190,000 units

Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne has announced that production of the Fiat 500 will be raised to 190,000 units per annum, beginning next year. The production plan is a direct attempt to cope-up with colossal demand for Europe’s most exhilarating new city car.

The automaker made the surprise announcement during the Investor Conference Call that pursued announcement of the Fiat Group’s third quarter results, where the Italian firm turned in its eleventh consecutive quarter of growth with a record trading profit of 745 million euros.

Around 24,000 units of the car had been sold by the end of last month and the order book now stands at 90,000 units. The production for this year will be in the region of 50,000 to 60,000 units.

Fiat 500 was launched on 4th July during a glamorous event in Turin and so far has been launched in just two European markets, Italy and France. The orders in these countries combined are now running at an staggering 800 units per day.

Under the original plan, Fiat proposed annual production of 120,000-140,000 units depending on customer demand, which was further raised to 150,000 units. Work is now in progress at the Tychy factory in Poland to increase production upto 190,000 units per annum.

Marchionne made it clear that production of the Panda model, as well as the forthcoming Ford Ka, which is mutually developed with the 500 will not be affected.

He said "We are just starting in Germany, Belgium and Switzerland. In 2009, the capacity will be 190,000 if and when this is required"

The 500 has just gone on sale across Europe except from the UK, were it will arrive in January 2008

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