ROME -- Fiat parent Stellantis and the Italian government agreed on Monday to aim to increase annual production in Italy to one million units, reversing a downward trend seen in recent year
Stellantis built fewer than 700,000 vehicles in the country last year and in 2021, as it was hit by a global shortage of microchips and other components.
The automaker said on Monday that it plans to add production of a fifth model at its Melfi plant in southern Italy in addition to the four already announced.
Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares had met Italy's Industry Minister Adolfo Urso in Rome earlier on Monday and they agreed on the need to boost vehicle output in the country, home to other Stellantis brands including Alfa Romeo and Maserati.
According to the FIM-CISL union, Stellantis output in Italy will likely rise to around 800,000 units this year. Fiat Chrysler, which merged with France's PSA in 2021 to create Stellantis, last produced over one million vehicles in Italy in 2017.
"I'm confident that ... we will create the condition to first reverse the downward trend in production volumes in the two coming years and then build together the roadmap to produce one million vehicles in Italy," Tavares said in a statement.
The plan would take several factors into account, including market forecasts, vehicle affordability, impact of Euro 7 emissions regulation and incentives to support Italy's competitiveness such as on energy costs, Stellantis said.
Stellantis did not say which model Melfi's fifth vehicle would be. A supplier source told Automotive News Europe that it could be the successor of the Jeep Compass, which is currently built in Melfi with combustion engine powertrains including a plug-in hybrid.
The four other models planned for Melfi are expected to be two for DS Automobiles, one for Opel/Vauxhall and one for Lancia.
The models produced in Melfi "will be high-value premium models built on the new STLA-M platform presented last week," Stellantis said in its statement.
The STLA-M platform will underpin at least 2 million EVs a year across the group’s Alfa Romeo, Citroen, Chrysler, DS, Jeep, Opel and Peugeot brands, starting with the Peugeot 3008 SUV this year.
Stellantis says the platform is "BEV by design" and will offer a range of up to 700 km (435 miles).
Automotive News Europe contributed to this report