During its last product planning announcement, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) said the company would heavily invest in the company’s Brazilian factories. The total investment is said to be worth €3.55 billion (or about $4 billion USD) and is said to be extended by one year to 2024, instead of 2023. This will bring a total of 25 new models and refreshes to the company’s portfolio.
In total, €1.65 billion ($1.86 billion USD) will be invested in Pernambuco factory, where FCA currently builds the Fiat Toro compact pickup, Jeep Compass, and Jeep Renegade. FCA will raise the capacity of the plant from 250,000 to 350,000 vehicles per year. It is likely that the production version of the Fiat Fastback Concept will also join the trio at Pernambuco, which will have a more boxy design and offered three-row design.
But that might not be the only model coming to Pernambuco. Another Jeep vehicle codenamed “Project 598” which is rumored to be a three-row model based on at the Small Wide platform that underpins the current Jeep Renegade and Compass. An all-new Jeep Renegade is scheduled to make its debut in 2022.
For the Betim facility, FCA is preparing €1.9 billion (about $2.2 billion USD) worth investment. The investment would include a new crossover based on the successful Fiat Argo’s MP1 platform. The new crossover would make use of even more advanced steels, and is most likely a worldwide project and should include a version for the European market. The new crossover is described as a compact for the Brazilian market but would be considered a subcompact in most of the other parts of the world. The other new model for Betim would be a replacement for the compact Fiat Strada pickup (also known as the Ram 700 in Mexico and some Latin America countries).
The Betim facility would also get another €110 million (about $124 billion USD) investment for a new engine plant, to build the turbocharged FCA Global Small Engine (or GSE, marketed as the FireFly range of engines). The plant would have a capacity of about 100,000 per year production of the GSE-T3 (turbocharged 3-cylinder), GSE-T4 (turbocharged 4-cylinder), and one new engine called the GSE-E4.
Where the “T” in GSE-T series stands for turbocharged, with the new GSE-E4 engine, the “E” stands for ethanol. This means that this engine will be designed to run specifically on pure ethanol (E100). Usually, engines consume 30% ethanol in comparison to gasoline, but FCA is promising that this will not be the case with this engine. This engine will fully exhibit all ethanol advantages and will have as much as 220 horsepower from 1.3-liter displacement.
The investment shows FCAs commitment to continue to grow its market share in Brazil and the rest of South America and Latin America.