By on December 21, 2012

Self-concious auto shoppers looking for a cheap, Italian-made vehicle need look no further than Jeep; Fiat announced plans for a $1.3 billion investment in an Italian plant to build a subcompact crossover for Fiat and Jeep.

The new Jeep model will share a platform with the forthcoming Fiat 500X crossover (above), which is slightly larger than the minivan-like 500L that debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show. With Fiat stuck with so much excess capacity, plants in Italy, Poland, Serbia and Turkey are being marshaled for export duty, and the baby Jeep should help add volume to the underutilized plant in deep South of Italy.

Melfi has also been home to notoriously poor relations between workers and management over the years. The South of Italy is often viewed by its residents as a neglected region of Italy, and investment in the plant will likely be seen as a gesture of goodwill in light of sniping that Fiat has focused too much on its Chrysler acquisition in recent years.

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18 Comments on “Get Ready For Italian Jeeps...”


  • avatar

    I could have predicted this when FIAT took over Chrysler, it may work out for everyone concerned, as long as the quality is there.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Is this anything more than Chrysler moving its Euro production from Magna to a (sort-of) in-house plant?

  • avatar
    madman2k

    I vote they put a Jeep badge on the Panda 4×4 and call it good.

  • avatar
    mjz

    That little 500X will be Fiat’s best looking version of the 500. Hope the little Jeep looks as good.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    For the life of me, I can’t figure out why, ever since Fiat took Jeep, but an image that keeps popping up in my mind was a humorous set of illustrations in a magazine many years ago of fantasy aircraft that could never exist, and the Italian plane was a WWll-era Caproni Vizzola F.6 that had two front ends, meaning it could instantly reverse direction, depending on what warring side was winning at the moment and that Italy had allied themselves with…

    Somehow, Jeep figures in this…somehow.

    I no longer like Jeep, because it stands for nothing, or so it seems – at least nothing I can relate to.

    • 0 avatar
      NYCER

      That’s insulting to Italians and people of Italian descent, asshole. Our ancestors were living in marble palaces with heat and running water while yours were still swinging through the trees and painting their faces blue.

  • avatar
    billfrombuckhead

    Wrangler and Grand Cherokee are stronger than ever as well as selling around the world, why shouldn’t Jeep starting urinating in Subarus cornflakes. This 500X looks fantastic, the best looking small crossover and the Panda has a good reputation. I bet this will be another worldwide success.

  • avatar
    -Cole-

    Only one shall have the cutest ute.

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    And it comes with a 10 year Fix I- A— T— warranty.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    This is hilarious, actually. I distinctly recall the kerfuffle over candidate Mitt Romney saying something about Jeep jobs being moved to China, when in fact Jeep jobs wind up in Italy.

    Where’s the Press on that one?

    • 0 avatar
      sunridge place

      The key is the word ‘moved’ No jobs are being ‘moved’ from the US to China or Italy. Its quite easy to understand if you open your eyes.

      The ‘press’ is covering this one…are you not seeing this reported in the press? I am.

      If you need help. Go over to Google…click on the ‘news’ tab and then search for something like ‘Jeep and Italy’ and you’ll see the reports.

      Let us know if you have questions.

    • 0 avatar
      automaniak

      All Jeep cars are exported fm USA to Europe. Chrysler 300 and T@C are exported as Lancia, Dodge Journey is exported as Fiat Freemont.
      Fiat developed Dodge Dart produced in USA.

      Chrysler’s factories run at 100% capacity with good prospects for the future under Fiat umbrella, quite opposite situation to Daimler times.

      Now we can hear Fiat will develop brand new subcompact crossover Jeep (never produced in NAFTA area), then Jeep will get another model to their range. Yes, this one will be exported fm Europe to USA.

      Romney is a jerk when talking about automotive industry, especially Chrysler+GM bailout. Why to repeat his nonsenses ?

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        The Chrysler, err, Lancia exports from US/Canada to Europe are nothing to write home about. They are offered but sales are numbered in the hundreds rather than thousands. Simply put, they are the wrong cars for the European market.

        Jeep is doing much better in Europe, though.

    • 0 avatar
      automaniak

      @th009

      Sales of Lancia Thema is poor but Voyager is doing much better.
      Volume – hundreds per month, thousends p.a. ;)
      Anyway, it’s temporary solution to give Lancia wider model range and big cars. New models will be developed for global market (including Europe) fm the start, no simple rebadging anymore.

  • avatar
    AJ

    Nothing like ruining the brand. The Compass was such a great success too!


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