Following a two-month break, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Serbia has resumed production of 500L vehicles today, with 410 vehicles to be produced each day – the FCA trade union confirms.
The president of the trade union, Zoran Markovic, says that the first two days will be a trial production and after that, Fiat would resume full-scale production as before.
He adds he expects the major stakeholders in the company, the state and Fiat’s top managers, to reach an agreement on production of a new model at the Kragujevac plant which would provide job security for the employees.
Markovic underlines that there is still no official information about Fiat launching a new model and if that would happen at all.
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Markovic said earlier that workers were usually notified at the beginning of each new calendar year about the organization and the production plans.
He says that it is important for the factory to start producing a new model or find another way to fully engage the production capacities, particularly from employees’ perspective.
“This is what we have been constantly expecting, i.e. for the top managers at Fiat and the state to agree on a production of new model. If that does not happen, the job security of 4,500 workers here would be jeopardized. We expect for the company’s management and the authorities to come up with a concrete plan and a forecast for the next period”, said Markovic and added both the Fiat’s management in Serbia and Serbian government still do not have any information about the new model.
Fiat’s management said in June 2018 that Fiat would remain in Kragujevac in the next five-year period, and that the production plans for factories in Italy, as well as the company’s production plants in Serbia, Poland and Turkey would be finalized before the end of 2018.
Speculations about the new model
The media in Serbia have been speculating recently about Fiat starting the production of its new model – a small SUV – in 2019 in its factory in Kragujevac. However, the Danas daily writes that the new model cannot be expected before 2020.
Certain local media announced that the production of a small Fiat SUV will begin in Kragujevac in 2019. However, the company hasn’t made any official statements, but unofficial sources say that have been indications from the factory that the media speculations are without basis.
The new model will be a small off-road vehicle, and the annual production will amount to 50,000 cars.
The Italian media specializing in the automobile industry have reported that the name of the model is not yet known, but other details are. The new model – a small SUV – dubbed “Panda on steroids”, will resemble Fiat Panda Cross, a small off-road vehicle produced in Italy. However, the new model will be much larger, at 4.1 meters in length. It will also have a larger trunk, with a capacity of 400 litres, as well as five seats. The model will come in three petrol engine options, with gas and methane options available as well.
Also, the Serbian media have reported that the government and Fiat’s management are already working on a new contract that will be revealed soon, while the Serbian government has expressed willingness to even help with the development of the new model.
This post is also available in: Italiano