At an annual shareholders meeting late last week, Fiat chief executive officer Sergio Marchionne announced that his company is strongly considering hybrid vehicles for European markets. His comments came shortly after an Italian politician leaked news that Fiat will launch minivans with alternative powertrains.
According to Automotive News, Marchionne did not go into detail – he rarely does – but those close to company did elaborate a bit. Piedmont region governor Mercedes Brasso stated that Marchionne had spoken directly with her. As she said, Marchionne confirmed that Fiat will build hybrid versions of two upcoming minivans. The hybrid minivans will replace the Idea and Multipla models and be available in five-seater and seven-seater configurations.

The new minivans will be built at the company's plant in Turin beginning in 2011. The hybrid versions are expected to be released at a later date. There is no word yet as to whether the hybrids will be of the gasoline or diesel variety. The world's most fuel efficient automaker has confirmed that they will bring the 500 EV to the states and hybrids to Europe to further increase their lead in overall efficiency.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req.]

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