March 4, 2020 / 5:26 PM / 25 days ago

Fiat Chrysler sees more models based on electric 500 platform

A new Fiat 500 electric car customize by Kartell is displayed at a Fiat Chrysler event held to unveil its first electric model, in Milan, Italy, March 4, 2020. REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo

MILAN (Reuters) - Fiat Chrysler (FCHA.MI) might build more models in the future based on the platform of its new electric 500 small car, a senior executive from the Italian American automaker said on Wednesday.

The Head of the Fiat brand and Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s (FCA) Chief Marketing Officer Olivier Francois said the group did not build “orphan” platforms, or ones “destined to become orphan”.

“So, yes, the idea is that more models will arrive in the future, based on this platform,” he told journalists at the presentation of Fiat’s new electric 500 in Milan.

FCA is merger talks with Peugeot owner PSA (PEUP.PA) to create the world’s fourth biggest carmaker and the deal is expected to be closed early next year.

According to forecasters LMC Automotiv, the two companies have a potential combined manufacturing excess capacity of more than 5 million vehicles.

Analysts expect some FCA models, especially in the small and medium segment, could eventually shift onto PSA platforms - or underlying vehicle structures.

But FCA and PSA have yet to say precisely how they plan to tackle that potential excess, and which car platforms they will focus on, to meet a target to cut costs by 3.7 billion euros ($4.1 billion) a year without closing factories.

Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari; editing by James Mackenzie and Jane Merriman

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