Fiat 500 Moving To Poland, Chrysler Heads South

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
fiat 500 moving to poland chrysler heads south

The next generation Fiat 500 will no longer be hecho en Mexico for the North American market. Faced with a modern plant and unused capacity, Fiat will consolidate all of its 500 production to its site in Tychy, Poland, in 2015. So what does this mean for Mexico?

The move may have as much to do with Fiat’s underutilized capacity as it does with Chrysler’s current capacity crunch. Pentastar plants are running at full steam, and the facility in Toluca, Mexico will likely be converted into a plant to build Chrysler products for the North American market. Toluca currently builds the 500 and the Dodge Journey crossover. Interestingly, Marchionne has claimed in the past that unused European capacity could be used to meet North American demand for Chrysler products. If the idea of a Mexican made car scares you, just wait until you get your hands on a Caravan made in the same factory as an Alfa Romeo…

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  • Marcelo de Vasconcellos Marcelo de Vasconcellos on Feb 12, 2013

    Very interesting. Let's see if it happens. In the Fiat-dom some thoughts and proposals get kicked about but never really happen. Maybe this is Marchionne's way of dangling something in front of the EU comission in order to get something back (with the PSA deal and all)... Wonder if the tooling for the 500 will be coming to Brazil. If it does, maybe, just maybe they'll reduce the price and keep it around in its present form for many, many years. God knows the Brazilian market accepts this.

  • Jim brewer Jim brewer on Feb 12, 2013

    Chrysler always had quality from its Mexican plants. Consequently the company enjoyed a strong home market reputation in Mexico. I had an 1989 Dodge made I believe at the Toluca plant. I didn't put a lot of miles on it, but I owned it over 15 years without much more than a relatively minor suspension repair.

  • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Feb 13, 2013

    @tresmonos My mother bought a 2011 Focus and I think its manufactured in Mexico. The quality of the paint and/or application is substandard. The secondary areas in the trunk has surface rust developing. Panel fit is okay but could improve. But the quality of the interior in on par with an 80s Euro vehicle. Disgusting. It might a good vehicle in Mexico, but I don't think it is comparable to our Focus's we get and they come from South Africa (I think). I do think your view on NA manufactured vehicles is quite flawed. Skoda is manufactured in an ex-Cold War country and the quality is much better than US manufactured vehicles. @Highdeserestcat The Pentastar engine will eventually come in different capacities and I have read a release by Fiat that it will be manufactured in Europe. I don't know if it will be a 2.7 or 3.0 litre, but I do remember it stated it would most probably be of a smaller capacity than the current US manufactured Pentastar. The NA market will produce 2.0 liter and larger Fiat/Chrysler engines and the Eurozone will manufacture the smaller engines and some of the Pentastars I stated above.

    • Highdesertcat Highdesertcat on Feb 13, 2013

      Big Al from OZ, thanks for the tip. I haven't followed the possible future expansion of the Pentastar because we're not going to put more wear on our GC than the warranty covers; which means trading it for something new in Nov 2014, and letting potential future ailments be someone else's problem and expense. I favor a 2015 Sequoia 5.7 to replace the 2012 GC, but it will be my wife's daily driver so if she wants another GC, that's what we'll get. @GeneralMalaise, we own a 2008 Highlander Limited 4x4 with the 3.5 and 85K miles on it, without any malady. The only reason I kept it when I bought the 2012 GC for my wife was because this Japan-built Highlander had been a problem-free vehicle. I know that the Chrysler dealer wanted me to trade that Highlander in on the GC, because the Highlander was clean, damage-free and enjoyed a sterling reputation for durability. The dealership was very disappointed that I decided to keep it, and purchase the GC outright. They offered me low-book for it but it was worth more than that to me. So instead of the dealer losing the sale on the GC, we compromised on 9% off MSRP plus a $500 Military discount, and I purchased a bunch of stuff from their parts department to include running boards, a Class IV Grand Cherokee hitch with insert, and the skid-plate set that was dropped ship from the MOPAR distributor to my address in NM. Everyone was happy!

  • Junebug Junebug on Feb 13, 2013

    The Pentastar V6 was added to the Jeep Wrangler in 2012, go to the Wrangler Forum if you want to hear the good, bad, and ugly.