We all have preferences when it comes to cars, but despite our varied tastes, we share something in common: we’re all enthusiasts. So seeing an abandoned factory is always sad, especially knowing that it's where workers put together the cars some of us enjoyed back in the day.
A new walkaround video goes deep inside a Fiat factory left dead since 2011. Even though the assembly plant in Termini Imerese shut down more than a decade ago, you wouldn’t necessarily know, as the equipment is still there. Some of the most popular models were built there, including the iconic 500 and the lovable Panda. The factory in Sicily had been operational since 1970 and also used to produce the Fiat 126, Punto, and the Lancia Ypsilon.
The last car to roll off the line was a Lancia in November 2011, and yet it looks as if it wouldn’t take much effort to resume production. In most cases, factories are emptied shortly after the facility closes, but the former Fiat plant near Palermo seems to have been left untouched. It had a maximum annual production capacity of 140,000 units, but before Fiat shut it down, less than 40 percent of that capacity was being utilized. Consequently, the factory – employing some 1,800 people – was bleeding money.
According to the man with the camera, the factory has since been sold, and it's no longer accessible. It had exchanged hands a few times, the last time when Italian company Blutec bought it to make electric cars. However, that never happened, due to fraud amounting to €16 million.
It's allegedly being stripped down before being demolished, thus putting a sad end to a once flourishing assembly plant.