FCA looks to retool Italian plans for upscale models

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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne is set to unveil a company wide-strategy on June 1, his last such strategy announcement before his retirement next year.

According to a report the strategy will outline a major restructuring of FCA’s Italian plants to focus on upscale cars.

Citing sources familiar with the plan, Bloomberg on Friday reported that FCA is looking to either kill-off low-cost models produced in Italy or move them to plants where wages are lower, such as in Poland. The Italian plants can then be retooled to produce more profitable upscale models from Alfa Romeo, Jeep and Maserati.

According to Bloomberg‘s sources, production of the Fiat Panda could be moved to a plant in Poland while the Fiat Punto and Alfa Romeo Mito could be dropped. In place of these models could be a new Maserati SUV twinned with the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, which Marchionne has said is coming by 2020, as well as additional Alfa Romeo and Jeep SUVs. The Jeep Renegade is already produced in Italy.

It’s a strategy FCA has executed successfully in the United States. Recall, the automaker dropped the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart sedans two years and retooled the plants to build more popular, more profitable SUVs and pickup trucks.

Another area of focus for FCA’s new strategy will be a movement away from diesel toward electrification, according to Bloomberg‘s sources. The move is necessary for meeting future emissions standards as well as electrified car requirements in key markets, namely China.

Stay tuned.

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