Thirty-seven years of success
Thirty-seven years ago, Ducato revolutionised the light commercial vehicle segment and the revolution is still underway. The current, sixth generation has the highest payload in the segment up to 3.5 tons. The model’s many strengths include the powerful and efficient engines, the numerous safety and driving assist systems and the many bodywork variants designed for outfits of every kind. Ducato therefore retains a high residual value and this, combined with low running costs and spare part prices, gives the Fiat Professional best-seller some of the lowest maintenance and repair costs in its category, a vital contribution towards improving the “Total Cost of Ownership”, essential for improving the business of customers of all kinds. Ducato can be configured to measure for any use required, since it has the largest range of front-wheel drive vehicles in the market: through combinations of the various body, engine and mechanics solutions, the brand offers approximately 10,000 variants for commercial vehicles, people carriers and conversion bases. The Ducato is available in 4 length variants and 3 height versions for vans, and in 6 length variants for the chassis cabs and chassis cowls. Specifically, the van range offers a choice of eight different capacities ranging from 8 to 17 m³, giving it the best efficiency in this category in terms of load volume.
The record-breaking plant
Ducato is made in the Sevel Plant in Atessa, Val di Sangro, Italy, the largest light commercial vehicle plant in Europe. A little over six hundred people were employed in the Sevel Plant in 1981 and seventy vehicles were made a day. Today, about 1200 vehicles in an amazing array of different configurations roll off the lines every day. The plant is one of the most flexible in the world in terms of level of specialisation, organisation and work performance. Furthermore, it has earned a Silver medal in the World Class Manufacturing programme which involves over 160 FCA plants in addition to suppliers and multinationals. The Silver medal certifies that high efficiency, organisation, involvement and quality standards are implemented. The plant employs roughly 6,400 people, which reach 12,500 counting the suppliers operating in the district. The average age is about 45 and women make up over 21 per cent of the entire workforce. The plant hosts the Academy, a centre of excellence where resources are trained and employees are continuously updated. Specifically, the “Academy” is the place where people come together to improve their training and their leadership skills, as well as to undertake simulations and create innovation; here they can also learn about state-of-the-art future technologies involving the business in different areas such as quality, ergonomics, complexity management and work rate.