The recent installation of a ‘state of the art’ Comau robot at one of the largest and most historic automotive plants in the world represented a link between past and future, at an event that celebrated the Mirafiori plant’s 80th anniversary and the beginning of construction of the assembly line for the new Fiat 500 battery electric vehicle (BEV).
This new generation of vehicles continues the long tradition of models (more than 35 in total) that have rolled off the assembly lines at Mirafiori — including the first Fiat 500, which began production in 1957.
Pietro Gorlier, FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) COO for the EMEA region, said: “Mirafiori has been transformed in step with the city of Turin.
“It shared the successes and the difficult times, but it has always found a way to get back up on its feet — and it is one of the oldest European automotive factories still in operation today.
“Since it was opened 80 years ago, Mirafiori has produced more than 28,700,000 vehicles.”
This latest development at the plant was heralded by the installation of the Comau robot; the rest of the plant will be retooled over the coming months.
There will be a total of 200 robots in the body shop alone, enabling a fully automated welding process.
Production of the first pre-production models is scheduled to begin by the end of the year, and around 1,200 people will be dedicated to production of the Fiat 500 BEV.
The new assembly line will have an annual capacity of 80,000 units, with the potential for expansion.
FCA recently set up an e-Mobility unit, which will be responsible for co-ordinating all activities related to electrification.
It has also signed agreements with Enel X and Engie, which will enable it to offer “solutions to simplify the lives of customers buying and using an electrified vehicle of any of the group’s brands”.
In Italy, the group has plans to install more than 900 charging stations at production sites and employee parking areas, plus 1,200 at Leasys Mobility Stores and more than 1,100 at dealerships.