Fiat and Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne rolled out production plans for an all-new Jeep and Fiat vehicle to be built in Melfi, Italy. Fiat invested $1.3 billion into its Melfi facility to make production of these new vehicles possible. Production is scheduled to begin in 2014 and once the switch-over is complete, the facility will be capable of building 1,600 vehicles a day over the course of three shifts.
Part of the $1.3 billion investment went to improving existing assembly processes that will work directly with Fiat’s new modular Small Wide Platform. This new platform is one of three principal architectures Fiat and Chrysler Group will begin to implement and can be adjusted to build larger vehicles as well. Other upgrades include technological advancements like a new stamping shop, new body and panel welding lines, 500 new welding robots, and other cutting-edge tech in the paint shop, too.
Once the production line upgrades are finished, the Melfi facility will be capable of building four different models on the same line. All vehicles assembled at Fiat’s Melfi facility will meet all regulatory standards set stateside and will be ready to be exported as soon as each roles off the line. The reconfigured line features better ergonomics and logistics flow.
As for what will be built there, the all-new Jeep model will attempt to break into a segment that it’s currently not in. It will only be built at the Melfi facility but will be exported all over the world. Jeep hasn’t officially unveiled the successor to the Liberty yet, which will be built in Italy, but an announcement is expected at the New York auto show next year. The all-new Fiat 500X will also be built alongside the mystery Jeep model, and will be the biggest model offered in the Italian automaker’s stable.