Fiat Automobili Srbija plant, about EUR 1 billion worth of joint project of the Serbian government and Italy's Fiat, was ceremoniously opened April 16th. This is the largest investment in Serbia in the last few decades, and it is expected to give a significant contribution to the recovery of the domestic economy.
Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic, the officials of Serbia, Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergion Marchionne and members of the top management of that company attended the opening ceremony of the new automobile plant.
The Serbian government and Fiat signed 29 September 2008 an agreement to form Fiat Automobili Srbija, a joint venture that is 67% owned by the carmaker from Turin and 33% owned by Serbia.
The big investment in Serbia was financed in the same proportion, and the same principle will be applied to the distribution of profits.
Sergio Marchionne said that FAS would employ about 2,500 people until the year's end, while additional about 1,000 workers would be hired by suppliers.
According to his words, the plant will be making about 200,000 cars a year at full capacity, whereas the new model Fiat 500L will appear in the market next autumn.
Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic stressed that the newly opened plant Fiat Automobili Srbija (FAS), one of the most modern automobile factories in the world, would be manufacturing an exclusive model in Serbia.
He also said that the joint project of the Serbian government and Fiat - FAS, would raise the reputation of our country and bring profit to Fiat as well as to Serbia as a partner in that business.
The complex in Kragujevac spans 1.4 million square meters, few hundred thousands of which are roofed, which makes it the biggest facility of the kind in southeast Europe.
Serving as a support to FAS in Kragujevac, Fiat's traditional suppliers and partners - Magneti Marelli, SIGIT, HTL and Johnson Control - operate in the same town. They had their facilities built on the site of former barracks in Grosnica, which was allotted by the Ministry of Defense of Serbia.
FAS Director General Antonio Cesare Ferrara announced earlier that the serial production of Fiat 500L would commence at the plant in Kragujevac in May.
Marchionne said at the world premiere of Fiat 500L at the International Motor Show in Geneva that Fiat would sell 160,000 pieces of the new model in 2013.
Fiat Chrysler announced in early February that the starting price of Fiat 500L would be about EUR 16,000.