Fiat, Chrysler to invest $1.3-bn in Turin plant for Jeep, Alfa Romeo production

Fiat SpA, Italy's largest carmaker and its US arm in which it owns a  20-per cent stake, Chrysler, will invest $1.3 billion in a joint venture to make cars and sports utility vehicles under Fiat's Alfa Romeo and Chrysler's Jeep brands at Fiat's Mirafiori auto plant in the northern Italian city of Turin.

"The plan foresees the creation of a joint enterprise between Chrysler and Fiat to bring to Turin a new platform from the US to produce cars and SUVs for the Jeep and Alfa Romeo brands," Turin-based Fiat said in a statement today.

The investment of more than €1 billion ($1.3 billion) will be divided between Fiat and Chrysler in proportion to volumes produced for each brand.

Fiat, which acquired a 20-per cent stake in Chrysler last year, (See: Fiat completes acquisition of Chrysler) plans to produce up to 280,000 vehicles a year under the JV to be sold locally as well as outside Europe-mainly in the North American market.

Fiat and Chrysler chief executive officer, Sergio Marchionne, unveiled the JV today during discussions with labour unions in Turin as part of his efforts to arrive at a flexible work agreement at Italy's plants.

"This is an extraordinary opportunity for Italian industry to produce cars of quality and prestige. Mirafiori has all the elements necessary to achieve a leap of quality and become a world class plant, producing cars for Europe, North America and other markets around the world," Fiat said in a press release.