We recently reported that production of U.S.-bound Fiat 500 would move to Mexico starting this December. Well, according to Dodge CEO Ralph Gilles, the car will be on sale here even earlier, before the end of the year. The Mexican-made units won’t likely be ready by then, so the first batch of 500s may be imported from the Fiat plant in Tychy, Poland.
The 2-door hatchback addresses a gap Chrysler’s large car and truck-intensive lineup. With the addition of the 500, Gilles said Chrysler will now “have portfolio that can react to the market,” and added that the 500 “is a symbol of how well the partnership is working out.” The addition of the 500 to its lineup will also help Chrysler achieve its goal of raising its fleet fuel economy by 25 percent within 4 years.
The Fiat 500 starts for around $14,000 in Europe but that price may drop as Chrysler aims to save money by producing the car in Mexico.
Gilles added that he wants to pay back the government bailout Chrysler received in 2009. Chrysler’s goal is to make a $5 billion payment by 2014.