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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Stellantis to Introduce New Hybrid 500 EV Made in Italy

Fiat owner Stellantis is expected to announce a hybrid version of its 500e small electric car to be produced at its Mirafiori plant in Italy, according to sources familiar with the matter, confirming a report by Automotive News Europe.

The announcement is anticipated to be made during a meeting in Turin between CEO Carlos Tavares and union representatives, who have been advocating for a new high-volume, affordable model for Mirafiori to boost production output.

Currently, the 500e is assembled at the historic Fiat site in Turin. However, a global slowdown in sales of fully-electric vehicles has led Stellantis to significantly reduce production rates, resulting in extended furlough periods for the plant’s workers. The introduction of a hybrid model might help the carmaker improve its relations with the Italian government, which has frequently criticized the company for declining output in the country and for manufacturing some of its Fiat and Alfa Romeo models abroad.

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Stellantis, Italy’s only major automaker, and the government are in discussions over a plan to restore the group’s production in Italy to one million vehicles annually by the end of this decade, up from around 750,000 last year. Industry Minister Adolfo Urso indicated that an agreement is expected soon, which will include announcements of new models for Stellantis’ Italian plants.

Automotive News Europe reported that production of the new hybrid 500e could begin as early as late 2025. Stellantis aims for a total annual output of 200,000 units of the 500 at Mirafiori, including 125,000 hybrids, compared to less than 80,000 produced last year.

The new hybrid 500e will be built on the same platform as the 500e EV, while Fiat phases out the older version of the 500, both petrol-powered and hybrid, which was assembled in Poland.

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