Fiat owned Maserati and Alfa Romeo may be slowing down on the automotive treadmill but at least there is good news on the horizon permanently beleaguered partnership. The Jeep Renegade and Fiat 500X are selling like hot cakes and are so in demand that Fiat/Chrysler is increasing production two-fold.
The Renegade and 500X are built side by side in Fiat’s Melfi production facility a factory which received a 1 billon euro investment for upgrades and modernisation.
Fiat/Chrysler reported that by the end of September 149,000 Jeep Renegades had been built with a further 100,000 Fiat 500Xs.
Daily production rates have increased from 1,050 units too 1,200. If the Grand Punto was included then the actual output rate at Melfi is closer too 1,500 units per day.
Increased production usually means more job opportunities and Fiat confirmed it has hired 1,800 more staff since January.
Fiat expects the Melfi plant to build around 400,000 units by the end of 2015. Overall about 45 percent of the Jeep Renegade volume is exported to North America.
The future of the Grand Punto is unclear, after 10 years on the market sales have nose divied by around 75 percent. Punto output will still account for around 75,000 units per year.
It isn’t clear if Fiat are planning a replacement for the Grand Punto when production finally comes to end by 2016.