Fiat Punto Successor To Be Called 500 Plus And Will Be Made In Poland
|   Thursday, May 15, 2014
Fiat will launch a successor to the current Punto model in 2016, and it will bear the name of 500 Plus, according to journalists from the Automotive News. Fiat has plans to build 180,000 units per year of the Punto's successor model. The current Fiat Punto model is on the market since 2005 and the Italians are going to keep it in production until 2016. 

The B class model was originally called Grande Punto, and then Punto Evo after receiving the facelift in 2009, and then simply Punto from 2012.
During the event, organized by the Fiat group, in which the future projects of the bands from the group have been announced, it was mentioned only that the successor will arrive in 2016.

The journalists from Automotive News, have managed however to find out more details about the successor of the Punto model. First, Fiat will renounce the name Punto in favor of the name 500 Plus; the future B class model will be part of an enlarged family of the 500 range. The Fiat 500 Plus will enter in this lineup between the current Fiat 500 hatchback and the MPV Fiat 500 L.

The second bit of information is that Fiat will build the successor for the Punto at the Tychy plant in Poland, abandoning the current production line at the plant in Melfi, Italy. The factory in Poland currently assembles the Fiat 500, and will receive a massive investment to increase capacity. At the Melfi plant in Italy, Fiat plans to manufacture the new Jeep Renegade and the future Fiat 500X, which goes into production in September.

According to a report in the Polish newspaper Puls Biznesu, the investment in Tychy will include modern production lines as well as procurement of new technologies. Supposedly, Fiat will invest 2.36 billion zlotys (784 million dollars) to upgrade the Polish factory. In addition to that, Fiat will hire 420 new employees, on top of the 3,000 employees already working there. It is estimated that 96 percent of the production will go to exports, including the North America market.

The Punto successor will be based on a longer version of the Fiat-Chrysler small architecture used on the Lancia Ypsilon subcompact, which measures 3840 mm in length. Therefore, it will be placed between the three door 500 hatchback, measuring 3545 mm length, and the 500 L small minivan with a length of 4150 mm.
The current Fiat Punto has seen better days in terms of sales in Europe. Last year, Fiat only managed to sell 103,822 units, a 22 percent decrease compared to 2012, according to JATO Dynamics market researchers. The leader of small car sales is the Ford Fiesta model with 292,640 units sold in 2013.

Since 2007 when the revival of the 500 name took place, Fiat has betted heavily on the standard 500 city car, expanding the range with the 500 C and a impressive Abarth 500, as well as the practical 500 L, 500 L Trekking and the seven-seater 500 L MPW models.
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