Fiat is increasing production capacity for its 500 minicar to 190,000 units a year in order to meet increasing demand. Fiat initially planned to produce 500 units a day, but in early March, capacity at the Tychy, Poland assembly plant will grow to 750 units.
Fiat had originally planned to produce 120,000 units in 2008, the 500’s first full year, but dealers received 160,000 orders for the minicar between July 2007 to the end of January 2008.
Next week Fiat will unveil the 135 horsepower 500 Abarth at the Geneva Motor Show along with the Fiat 500 Aria concept car. The Abarth 500 will cost 18,000 euros, about 3,500 more than the second-most powerful version in the 500 lineup which produces 100 horsepower. Fiat is hoping to sell 2,500 units of the 500 Abarth this year and about 10,000 units in 2009.
Fiat will also add a convertible version to its 500 lineup in 2009 with a long-wheelbase, station wagon model planned for 2010.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
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