Turin, Italy – Fiat has unveiled a plan to relaunch an idled auto plant in Italy to produce larger-segment passenger cars and SUVs based on a U.S. vehicle platform.

Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne outlined a proposal to trade unions to relaunch the plant at Mirafiori by establishing a joint venture between Chrysler and Fiat to bring a new platform from the United States for the Jeep and Alfa Romeo brands. The universal platform, originally designed as the base for the new Alfa Romeo Giulietta and further developed at Chrysler, will be shared by the two automakers and will be used for development of all future C- and D-segment passenger cars and SUVs.

The models produced by the new company at Mirafiori would be flagship models for Jeep and Alfa Romeo and would also be exported outside the European Union, with more than half of production for international markets including North America.

An investment of more than €1 billion is planned, to be split between Fiat and Chrysler in proportion to the volumes produced for each brand. The Mirafiori plant could potentially produce more than 1,000 vehicles per day, bringing the current workforce back  and possibly opening new jobs.

Marchionne expressed an intent to initiate the project immediately, enabling the plant to be reconfigured in time for the launch of future Jeep and Alfa Romeo models in the third or fourth quarter of 2012.

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