As emerged from the meeting between FCA and unions, in fact, the production lines of the Jeep Renegade and Fiat 500X will be stopped from June 11th until June 30th. The market is still partially blocked and the incoming requests for the two crossovers are very limited. In view of a complete recovery of the sector, the production of the two models will be stopped in Melfi for most of the month of June. At the moment, it is not clear what the production program will be for Jeep Compass that, for a few weeks, is “Made in Melfi”.
The company has however confirmed to the unions the desire to increase production for the new hybrid models produced in Melfi. In fact, from June there will be aimportant production increase for the new Renegade and Compass 4xe, models that entered the pre-order phase in recent months and are ready to become the new reference point for the plug-in sector, in Italy and in the rest of Europe.
The regional secretariats of Fim, Uilm, Fismic, UglM and Aqcf, in a press release, they highlighted the difficult moment that the automotive supply chain is experiencing in our country: “It is now clear that the impact of the Covid-19 emergency on the metalworking industry becomes heavier every day and that there is the risk of compromising a crucial sector for the economy of the country that employs 1.6 million workers “
As for the Lucanian plant and all related industries, the unions added: “In Melfi and Basilicata these critical issues are increasingly evident and the tools put in place by the government to date are still insufficient to stem the repercussion caused by the pandemic and an economic crisis which in terms of size and effects is announced to be much more serious than that faced in the years 2008-2012 “.
Unions have asked the institutions, starting from the government, to “Fielding new resources for social safety nets that will serve to ferry the sector out of this difficult situation and to provide, among other interventions, also support to the market through incentives for scrapping and the purchase of eco-compatible cars”
FCA confirms the investments for Melfi but there is no news for the future
In meeting with the unions, FCA has confirmed all the investments already announced for the Melfi plant. The lucano site is a point of reference for the group’s activities in Italy and its role is expected to grow with the start of production of the new Jeep plug-ins that will be built in Melfi and then exported to all international markets in Jeep will start marketing the models, also outside European borders.
The confirmation of the investments for Melfi is certainly good news but it should be remembered that, as confirmed by various union estimates pre-pandemic, the start of Compass production in Melfi will not allow to achieve the goal of full employment. According to the unions, even before the economic crisis, it is necessary to start production of a new model for the Lucanian factory.
FCA’s “Italy Plan” does not provide for further changes to be launched for production in Melfi. For the future, the launch of the first “shared” projects between FCA and PSA with the new FCA group B-SUVs, including the entry level of Alfa Romeo, which will be carried out on a platform, has been discussed of the French group. However, these are only speculations that have not found any confirmation.
For the next few years, the Melfi plant will have to “get away” with Renegade, Compass and 500X, models that have entered the second part of their career and that, in the near future, will have to be replaced by new generations. Keep following us for all the updates.