Fiat cuts production over weakening demand for 500e

Until the end of April, Fiat will switch to one shift at its Mirafiori plant due to falling demand for the all-electric 500e and the Maserati models produced on-site. The factory near Turin adapted its output in February, but the supposed plan to resume two-shift operations at the beginning of this month has been further delayed. Last week, assembly was halted completely to align production with demand.

At Mirafiori, parent Stellantis builds the Maserari Levante, Ghibli, and Quattroporte. With the latter in the final phase of their lifecycle, the production cut doesn’t come as a surprise. But things are different for the 500e, Stellantis’ best-selling electric car since it came to market four years ago.

Awaiting subsidies

The slowdown in the factory witnessed a general trend in Europe, where electric sales are in a slump as incentives have faded or are awaiting execution. In Italy, the government has approved a subsidy package worth 950 million euros to replace the old nation’s vehicle fleet with zero-emission battery models. But the Italians can’t apply for the scheme yet, so the national market is holding its breath.

However, the uptake is also being braked in the rest of Europe. The last available figures for the European marketplace, from January this year, show a share of 12% for BEVs, which is the lowest over a one-year period. The stalling rapid growth is manifesting itself now at the production level.

Mirafiori goes Chinese

The national government has criticized Stellantis for not doing enough to uphold the country’s automotive production. Both parties agreed to increase output from 750,000 vehicles last year to one million by the decade’s end. The factory Mirafiori will start building models from Chinese manufacturer Leapmotor as of 2026 to reach that target.

Stellantis, a co-owner of Leapmotor, set up a joint venture for this purpose and aims to manufacture 150,000 affordable EVs with Chinese technology at Mirafiori.

Meanwhile, the Fiat 500e remains its stronghold. Since its market launch in 2020, the Fiat 500e has seen encouraging sales across Europe. It leads zero-emission models in the A and B segments combined with a market share of 14.7%. However, the market for affordable BEVs has yet to develop.

Last year, Fiat found 65,000 customers for the 500e. Europe’s top selling EV is the Model Y, accounting for 254,000 units last year.


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