TURIN -- Stellantis aims to double output of the Fiat New 500, Europe’s top-selling mass-market battery-electric car if it can get enough microchips, CEO Carlos Tavares said.
The New 500’s low retail price for a full-electric car is making it a popular choice, especially for people in Europe’s crowded cities who do not want to splash out on a Tesla. Its retro styling, similar to the gasoline-engine 500, also attracts buyers.
Tavares said Stellantis could easily double or even triple New 500 output but production is constrained by shortages of semiconductors and other parts, not by installed capacity or battery pack availability.
“We can make 90,000 units [this year] and we have an order book to sell them. We are working hard to go to 90,000, but we are not sure we can get there,” Tavares told reporters on Tuesday at the automaker’s Mirafiori factory in Turin, which builds the New 500 and three luxury models for Maserati.
Tavares said that the sales potential for the New 500 is “enormous” but supply chain bottlenecks remain the biggest hurdle to increasing output.
Stellantis built 46,249 units of the New 500 last year, according to FCA Italy’s annual report. In the first half, the automaker increased production of the EV by 54 percent year-on-year to 38,830, figures from FIM-CISL unions show.
In the first seven months, Fiat sold 37,868 units of the New 500, up 65 percent from January-July 2021, making it the third-best selling full-electric behind the two premium models, the Tesla Model Y and 3, which sold 46,925 and 40,923 units respectively. (See table below)