Fiat has a strong heritage and tradition when it comes to producing cars in Italy. The installation of a state-of-the-art Comau robot today at one of the largest and most historic automotive plants in the world represented a link between past and future, with an event that celebrated the Mirafiori plant’s 80th anniversary and beginning of construction of the assembly line for the new Fiat 500 BEV.
This new generation of vehicles continues the long tradition of innovative models (more than 35 in total) that have rolled off the assembly lines at Mirafiori. Among these is the first Fiat 500 which began production in 1957.
Currently, around 20,000 people work at the Turin production complex (Mirafiori and Grugliasco) including those directly involved in manufacturing as well as related activities such as engineering, design, sales, financial services and parts and accessories. Mirafiori is the largest FCA production hub in the world. FCA’s activities in the Region of Piedmont also include an additional 4,000 employees and some 40,000 people who work for suppliers.
Celebrations marked the opening of a new chapter for Mirafiori. The platform being installed at the plant is specific to electric cars and its first application will be the Fiat 500 BEV. Today, the first robot was installed and the rest of the plant will be retooled over the coming months. In the body shop alone, there will be a total of 200 robots enabling a fully-automated welding process. Production of the first pre-production models is scheduled to begin by year-end. Around 1,200 people will be dedicated to production of the Fiat 500 BEV and the new assembly line will have an annual capacity of 80,000 units, with the potential for expansion.
Total investment for the project, including design, development, engineering and construction of the assembly line is around €700 million. Production is set to begin during the second quarter of 2020.
In Italy, the Group has plans to install more than 900 charging stations at production sites and employee parking areas, around 1,200 at Leasys Mobility Stores and more than 1,100 at dealerships. Total investment for this project is around €33 million. In addition, FCA is evaluating projects based on the innovative Vehicle-to-Grid technology, which enables vehicles to return electricity to the grid when needed during peak demand and switch back to charging when demand returns to normal. This would benefit customers while at the same time reducing energy production.