TURIN - Fiat Auto is expanding its South Amer-ican manufacturing base with the opening of two new plants in Brazil.
Brazilian subsidiary Fiat Automoveis started production at a new engine plant early last month. Based in the Betim complex in the Minas Gerais state, the plant makes the 1.0-liter, four-cylinder FIRE engine, both in eight- and 16-valve forms. Production rate is 1,800 units a day.
The eight-valve unit is also built in Termoli, Italy. The 16-valve version is brand new.
On November 10, Fiat Auto and Fiat SpA commercial vehicle unit Iveco will open a $260 million greenfield plant in Sete Lagoas. Fiat Auto and Iveco will build their respective commercial vans, Ducato and Daily, in a single plant for the first time.
The new plant will have an initial capacity of 25,000 units a year. In a second phase, a line to make 30,000 diesel engines a year will be added.