Fiat has confirmed it is extending the 500 range with the Fiat 500X SUV and will build a new small Jeep crossover on the same platform.
Following on from a sneak peek at a probable future Fiat 500X SUV back in July, Fiat has now confirmed it is going to put the rufty-tufty version of the 500 in to production and will build it alongside a new baby Jeep crossover – based on the same underpinnings – at its Melfi factory in Italy.
That is good news for Fiat and Italy, as a €1 billion investment in the Melfi plant to build both the new 500X and new baby Jeep crossover will see jobs secured as Fiat aim to churn out up to 1600 500X and Jeep cars a day, with Melfi being the only plant producing both cars.
First to go in to production will be the new Jeep in 2014, followed by the 500X and then a third model using Fiat’s new ‘Small Wide’ platform will be added in 2015 to replace the Punto. Fiat say that Melfi will be able to build four models using the new platform, so it looks like there could be two models spun off the Punto, or the 500L will spawn another 500 sibling.
If the plan works, and sales arrive, the 500X and other models based on the 500L should help Fiat’s bottom line, as new the models are going to be distinctly more ‘Premium’ in price than most of Fiat’s current range.