This year, Fiat’s operations in Poland are working flat out to get ready to start produce the new Fiat 500 model in 2007. The company is also working to further boost exports of parts and components, reports the Puls Biznesu news agency:

The main target for Fiat’s Polish companies is to get themselves ready to launch the production of new models at its plant in Tychy, southern Poland. "Next year we are launching with Fiat 500 and a year later with the new Ford Ka. This means that the plant’s development will be guaranteed for the next decade," Enrico Pavoni, the Fiat Polska and Fiat Auto Poland CEO commented.

The plans provide for huge new investments in Poland. "We will talk about details in several months. I believe, however, that the costs will be similar to those spent several years ago when Fiat Panda production was being launched. You need funds for the welding plant, paint shop or assembling plant. We’ll have to buy new robots. Part of the project will be co-financed by Ford, of course," Pavoni added. Fiat Panda production was launched in Poland in 2003. The Italian firm spent 570 million euros at that time.

Today, Fiat is Poland’s biggest car producer. At its Tychy plant it produced 286,900 cars last year of which 264,900 cars were exported. Build capacity is not scheduled to grow in 2006. "This year, 280,000 cars will leave Tychy," Pavoni said. Last year Fiat Auto Poland exported 1,832 billion euros worth of cars. Along with car parts, and farming machines, group exports exceeded 2.5 billion euros.
This year is expected to be even better. "I believe, our exports will exceed 3 billion euros," Pavoni forecast. This latest increase in turnover will be generated by the commencement of new diesel engine production by Fiat-GM Powertrain at Tychy. Investments will reach 81 million euros. "Engine production will grow from 650,000 today to 740,000 in 2007, and 800,000 in 2008. Thanks to this project, the plant will develop until 2015," Pavoni stressed. Recently, the company has signed agreements with trade unions which finally agreed to start a six-day working week.

The other Fiat Group companies in Poland will all be developing their activities this year as well. Teksid, a producer of cast iron, is to increase its exports by 20 percent. Magneti Marelli is also expected to increase its sales and capacity by at least 25 percent this year, while CNH Global, the harvesting machine manufacturer from Plock in Central Poland, is too planning to increase its capacity by around 25 percent.

In 2005, Fiat Auto Poland earned nearly PLN 300m (77.1 million euros) of net income. The Fiat Group as a whole had PLN 550m of income in Poland.

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