BAIRO CANAVESE, Italy - Local content in the Mitsubishi Pajero Pinin being built here by Industrie Pininfarina is 75 percent, involving 60 European Union suppliers.
Two-thirds of these suppliers are based in Italy, representing 60 percent of the total content. Pininfarina will take 15 hours to completely build the Pajero Pinin at its new plant northwest of Turin.
Mitsubishi invested $100 million to develop the Pajero Pinin, similar in size and features to the Pajero Io, introduced in Japan in June 1998. Pininfarina invested a further $40 million developing the European version and setting up its production line.
Installed annual capacity at Bairo Canavese is 35,000 units on one shift; full capacity will be reached next year. Sales start in September with a three-door version joined by a five-door in late 2000. A soft-top derived from the three-door is now under evaluation.
In June of 2001 Fiat Auto will launch a compact SUV derived from the Pajero Pinin platform, to be built by Pininfarina at a rate of 30,000 units a year adding a second shift to the assembly line. Fiat will also use the Pajero Pinin 4WD running gear but will differentiate the two with its own exterior and interior styling - although the complete dashboard will be one of many carryover components.
Mitsubishi said the technical cooperation with Fiat Auto could cut parts procurement costs for the Pinin by 30 percent. This cut in procurement cost will come from the higher volume and the better prices Fiat Auto is able to negotiate with European suppliers.
Despite the 75 percent European content, many parts are imported from Japan. These include the entire running gear, engine, manual and automatic gearboxes, transfer case and transmission shafts, plus some suspension and exhaust system parts.