Stellantis will turn its Mirafiori plant into an electric vehicle hub, at which it’ll produce next-generation Maserati sedans.
These models will ride a new electrified platform created specifically for Maserati and will enter production between 2022 and 2024.
It’s unclear how much variation there’ll be between this new architecture and the STLA Large platform that’ll be rolled out across Stellantis’ North American brands and will underpin, among other vehicles, an electric muscle car for Dodge.
Turin is the historic home of Fiat, and by establishing an EV hub there Stellantis says it’s giving Italy “a strategic role among the Group’s main domestic European markets”.
“Stellantis is working with determination and alacrity to anticipate and prepare for the energy transition of all its Italian industrial sites,” the company said.
Production of the Fiat 500 will continue at Mirafiori, which will reportedly still be able to produce internal-combustion and hybrid powertrains.
It could also produce ICE-powered 500s, freeing up some capacity at the Tychy, Poland plant that’ll soon build light SUVs for the Jeep, Fiat and Alfa Romeo brands.
The current Ghibli and Quattroporte are produced in an ex-Bertone factory in nearby Grugliasco, which Fiat Chrysler Automobiles acquired in 2009.
The vehicles entered production in 2013, and are therefore at the end of their lifecycles.
The Ghibli had been rumoured to be on the chopping block, given a redesigned model hasn’t appeared in any of the brand’s future product plans since 2018.
In contrast, the Quattroporte has been more recently slated for replacement, both with an internal-combustion powertrain and an all-electric variant wearing Maserati’s new Folgore moniker for EVs.
All Grugliasco employees will move to Mirafiori – hardly challenging, given it’s just 4km away and many of the employees have worked at both locations.
The change of strategy at Mirafiori and Grugliasco was discussed on Monday at a meeting with Italian unions at the Economic Development Ministry in Rome.
Mirafiori won’t be the only Stellantis factory in Italy that’ll produce EVs.
It’s unclear what those products will be, though they’re almost certain to use the new STLA Medium platform.
Stellantis is also building its third European battery plant in Italy at Termoli, east of Rome.
Automotive News reports the cost of production in Italy is higher for Stellantis than in other European countries.
CEO Carlos Tavares told Italian unions in February that production costs were up to four times higher at factories in Italy than at the ex-PSA plants in France or Spain, though this is largely due to factory under-utilisation rather than higher labour costs.
Stellantis isn’t the only company establishing dedicated EV production facilities.
General Motors has retooled its Detroit-Hamtramck plant, rechristening it Factory Zero. It’ll produce EVs like the GMC Hummer EV and autonomous Cruise Origin there.
Some companies are also building EV facilities from scratch, including Ford with its Blue Oval City project.
Ford announced that it’s creating three massive production plants in the US to increase its EV and battery production, one of which will be a mega campus called Blue Oval City.
The company said it’s investing US$11.4 billion (A$15.7 billion) in this project, which is expected to create around 11,000 jobs.