By Giulio Biovacari
Turin, Italy (Reuters) – The historic Italian city of Turin has been chosen by Stellants for an investment to boost its role in producing low-emission cars and as a recycling center for cars and auto parts.
The Franco-Italian group has signed an agreement with its Belgian partner Punch Powertrain to increase production of dual-clutch transmission (eDCT) for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles at the Mirafiori plant in Turin, the automaker said on Tuesday.
Producing and selling more electric and hybrid cars is a central pillar in plans that Stelantes CEO Carlos Tavares laid out in March to double revenue to 300 billion euros ($300 billion) a year by 2030.
On Tuesday, Tavares said the group was investing a “double-digit” million euros in modernizing the gearbox, without giving an exact figure.
The Mirafiori complex will also become the company’s main focus for its so-called “circular economy” business, focusing on refurbishing and dismantling vehicles and reusing components, with Tavares seeing long-term shortages of raw materials.
Union officials said the recycling process could create jobs for 550 people by 2025.
“Raw materials will continue to be scarce in the next decade, and we believe we can extend the life of the materials we use, and this will be very important for our company,” Tavares said at a press conference in Turin.
The group aims to increase recycling revenues tenfold to reach €2 billion by 2030.
Mirafiori in Turin is the historic headquarters of Fiat, which merged with France’s PSA last year to form Stylantis.
It is one of the group’s main production sites in Italy along with Melfi in the south and Sevel Atessa light commercial vehicles in central Italy. Including white-collar employees, Mirafiori now employs about 20,000 workers.
Production at Mirafiori, which also hosts Italy’s Stellantis battery hub, includes the all-electric 500 minivan, one of the group’s best-selling cars in Europe.
Tavares said production of the model could “easily” double from 45,000 units in 2021, and then triple, as the limitations weren’t tied to capacity or battery pack availability but because of other parts affected by the semiconductor supply crisis.
Production of the new Mirafiori e-Transmission Assembly facility is expected to begin in the second half of 2024. It will complement the existing capacity of a plant in the French city of Metz, to supply all related Stellantis manufacturing sites in Europe, with a total annual total production of 1.2 million units at the two sites, Tavares said. . (1 dollar = 0.9996 euros)