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BELGRADE (Serbia), May 25 (SeeNews) - FCA Srbija, a joint venture of Italy's Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Group and the Serbian government, said on Thursday it has started manufacturing the Fiat 500L model at its factory in Kragujevac.
"The Serbian government will provide full support to the operations of FCA Srbija to ensure the future expansion of the business and long-term strategic partnership between Serbia and FCA Group," prime minister Aleksandar Vucic said at the inauguration ceremony at the factory in central Serbia, according to a FCA Srbija statement. "This is in the best interests of all employees, the local community, as well as the entire Serbian economy".
Fiat 500L represents an updated version of the 500 model and 40% of its components are new. It was designed to reinforce the family feeling of the model by emphasising its key stylistic characteristics, for a highly distinctive identity, FCA Srbija said.
"The new Fiat 500L is the successor to the best-selling small MPV in Europe and destined to renew and continue its success. We are proud that we can say that there is an ambitious plan for the plant in Kragujevac to be the centre of production activities again," Alfredo Altavila said in the statement.
The Serbian government has been a committed partner, while the FCA Group has brought its vast global expertise, resources and facilitated access to markets, Altavila noted.
FCA Srbija is the biggest foreign industrial investment in Serbia. The joint venture company is the biggest Serbian exporter, with some 1 billion euro ($1.1 billion) in exports in 2016, it said.
FCA Group controls 67% of the capital of FCA Srbija through its subsidiary Fiat Group Automobiles (FGA), while the Serbian government owns the remainder.