FCA bets $788 million on electrifying its iconic 500 compact car

FCA plans on launching the 500 BEV first in European markets. Production will commence in the second quarter of 2020.

With Fiat Chrysler moving on following its failed bid to merge with France’s Renault, the carmaker announced it plans on investing $788 million (700 million euros) to create an electric makeover of its iconic Fiat 500.

Pietro Gorlier, FCA’s chief operating officer for Europe, Middle East and Africa, announced the investment, which marks its biggest single bet on an electric vehicle, at its Mirafiori plant in Turin, northern Italy.

“The plan is confirmed,” said Gorlier to reporters when asked if FCA’s investment in electric vehicle technology would remain unchanged after its $35 billion plan to merge with Renault, an electric car pioneer, collapsed last month.

Gorlier went on to add, FCA would investing 700 million euros to build a new production line at its Mirafiori plant, which will churn out 80,000 of the new 500 BEV – its first battery electric vehicle to be marketed in Europe.

Production will commence in the second quarter of 2020 and a capacity expansion will be considered later.

The 500 compact car is one of the group’s most famous models, launched by then Fiat in the late 1950s and quickly becoming a symbol of Italian urban design.

The 700 million euros investment is part of a plan announced last year to invest 5 billion euros in Italy up to 2021.

($1 = 0.8878 euros)

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