TURIN, Sept.22 (Reuters) – Stellantis (STLA.MI) chairman John Elkann said on Wednesday that an investment in a historic production plant in Italy shows manufacturing in the country remains essential for the automaker, in response to criticism that it was losing importance after the Fiat Chrysler and PSA merger that created the group.
Elkann said Stellantis has invested € 2 billion ($ 2.35 billion) in Turin to produce fully electric cars – including the battery-electric Fiat 500 (BEV) – and hybrids as well as innovative projects, such as smart grid charging infrastructure.
The investment is “a clear and important sign that we believe not only in all the women and men who work there, but also throughout the city’s automotive district,” Elkann said.
The group’s leaders presented a red version of its electric model 500 which will be produced at the Turin site, in partnership with RED, the charity group co-founded by U2 leader Bono.
The Mirafiori factory in Turin is one of the largest in Italy and a symbol for the automaker.
“My dad was driving a Fiat, my first car was a Fiat, even though I crashed,” Bono said, unexpectedly showing up at the event featuring the “Casa 500” museum and a rooftop garden. historic Fiat Lingotto factory in Turin.
Like other major automakers, Stellantis, which employs around 55,000 people in Italy, has been hit by a global chip shortage crisis that has forced it to repeatedly shut down factories, cut shifts and to eliminate temporary workers.
Speaking at the same event, Olivier François, CEO of the Fiat brand, said the brand intends to unveil a new model each year, starting in 2023, each with its BEV version.
($ 1 = 0.8522 euros)
Report by Giulio Piovaccari, edited by Giulia Segreti and David Gregorio
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