Fiat’s Polish Tychy Plant Celebrates 2.5 Millionth 500 Made

The Tychy plant in Poland has long since been the home of Fiat’s wildly popular peoples’ cars. 

Fiat has recently announced that the 2.5 millionth 500 has recently rolled off its production line in Tychy, Poland. In continuous production over there since its rebirth in 2007, this Italian city car has long since broken the Polish factory’s record for total single-model vehicle production. 

Now while it may seem as a given considering the 2.5 million 500s made, the battle for this title was actually much closer than one could imagine. That is because the Tychy plant was had manufactured a staggering 2.168 million second generation Pandas from 2003 to 2012, and was the birthplace of the 2.166 million Polski-Fiat 126s before that. 

Then again though, this production record was all but inevitable for the Fiat 500 as modern mini Italian icon has consistently been the top choice for city car buyers in the market where they are sold. Such is evidenced by the fact that the little cinquecento ended 2020 as the reigning European sales leader in its segment, with an impressive best ever market share of nearly 18%. 

It is worth highlighting too that the love for the 500 far exceeds the borders of Europe. Touted by Fiat as the marque’s most international car to date, this ‘Ambassador of the Made in Italy’ (that is incidentally made in Poland) has found homes in places further afield from the old continent such as in Japan, the Cayman Islands, Curaçao, Saint Martin, Senegal, Ghana and of course, Malaysia.

All considered however, while this cutesy city car has been undoubtably one of the marque’s biggest success stories in recent time, the 2.5 million production tally of this modern interpretation is still a long way away from the nearly 3.9 million units of the original 500 that was produced between 1957 and 1975. Nevertheless, what this new model probably has more of though than its predecessor is awards, as this critically-acclaimed city car has claimed over 60 international trophies over its life, with perhaps many more still to come.  

As for the 2.5 millionth car to roll of the factory floor in Tychy, this record-breaking 500 was a 70 hp mild hybrid variant ordered by a customer from France. A powertrain combination that was launched last year as part of Fiat’s wider electrification ambitions, more than 155,000 of these electrified engines have found their way into the 500, new Panda and Lancia Ypsilon since its debut.  

PRESS RELEASE: 2.5 million 500 models have now been produced at the Stellantis plant in Tychy, Poland. The record-breaking model, ordered by a customer from France, is a 500 Hybrid equipped with a 70-hp mild hybrid engine: an efficient, compact, lightweight hybrid power unit, offering a fun and comfortable driving experience, as well as reducing consumption and emissions. Mild hybrid technology – launched in 2020 on the 500 and Panda – was Fiat’s entry point into the world of electrification. It very quickly made Fiat an undisputed benchmark in Europe for electrified urban mobility, thus opening the way to hybrid cars to all. In 2020 the 500 and Panda Hybrid, joined by the Lancia Ypsilon, totaled 110,000 units sold, with a sales mix of over 50% 500 and Panda. From the launch to date, the three models totaled more than 155,000 units sold.

The result of 2.5 million units produced, means that the 500 has broken the Polish factory’s record for total single-model vehicle production, ahead of the second-generation Panda (2,168,000 units) and the Fiat 126p (2,166,000). Produced in Poland since 2007, Fiat’s icon was immediately met – and continues to be met – with great success on international markets, so much so that it has reached customers in over 100 countries all over the world. And, almost 80% are sold outside Italy, making it Fiat’s most international car and Ambassador of the Made in Italy. The main markets, besides Italy, are the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, and countries as far away as Japan. 500 has even hit such exotic markets as the Cayman Islands, Curaçao, Saint Martin, Senegal and Ghana.

The Fiat 500 ended 2020 as the European leader in the city car segment with an impressive best ever market share of 17.7%, thus repeating the result achieved a year earlier, after having also increased its share in the segment by 3 percentage points. These record figures show that the model is consistently popular and appreciated by customers. It is also one of the most awarded cars in the world, as evidenced by the over 60 international trophies bestowed since production began. These include the prestigious “Car of the Year 2008”, “EuroCarBody 2007”, “Auto Europa 2008”, “World Car Design of the Year 2009”, “Golden Compass 2011” and “The Most Beautiful Car in the World”.

Since the debut of the first generation in 1957, over 6.7 million 500 units have been sold worldwide. This serves as confirmation of the extent to which the Fiat icon has become part of the collective imagination of generations of drivers: of different ages, tastes and nationalities. The secret of its worldwide success lies in its continuous evolution, while remaining true to its own identity. Success is also due to the many special series launched in recent years, showing that the Fiat 500 has always been a trendsetter, with the ability to reinterpret itself in partnership with other iconic brands – from fashion to luxury sailing, from the arts to the world of sports –  breathing life into truly unique versions, and exploring uncharted territory for a city car. These versions include the striking Diesel, Gucci, GQ and Collezione editions, linked to the world of fashion, the extraordinary Riva and Abarth Rivale, in the world of luxury sailing, the original Anniversario and 560, to celebrate the original 1957 car, and the 500 Mirror and the 120th Anniversary, in the realm of connectivity.

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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