The transport of people and goods is a fundamental driver for economic growth and development throughout the world. Fiat Group has long been committed to providing an increasing number of people with sustainable and economically accessible mobility solutions. Through research and continuous innovation, the Group strives to develop products that satisfy the demands of mobility while still respecting environmental and social needs.
To support new product development, Fiat Group places a great emphasis on research and innovation.
As of 31 December 2011, the Group had 77 Research and Development centers and about 17,000 people, all working to make mobility increasingly sustainable by developing innovative products and services designed to anticipate market needs.
To facilitate achievement of this objective, worldwide innovation and product development activities are coordinated at a central level by the
Chief Technology Officer (CTO). The CTO is a member of the Group Executive Council and leads Fiat Group’s Research & Development department, fostering opportunities for synergies and technology transfer within the Group. To this end, he also chairs regular Innovation Committees, composed of the heads of Innovation and Engineering from each Group regional area.
Fiat Group spent approximately €2.2 billion on research and development. Despite the continuing global economic crisis, investment continued and a number of major innovation projects were completed during the year.
The Group’s research areas
The Group’s research is concentrated in the following principal areas:
environment – with a focus on reducing environmental impacts throughout the entire vehicle life cycle, from the raw materials used to vehicle scrapping (by means of reduced CO
2, other emissions and noise levels, improved energy efficiency and use of new materials) society – with a focus on all aspects of safety (active, passive and preventive), on measures for promoting mobility for all people and on the development of efficient infomobility systems
competitiveness – with a focus on vehicle architectures, performance, comfort and perceived quality, and on the use of innovative technology in production processes
The Group carefully assesses in advance the impact of its research activities on the environment and on the health of the users of its products. In accordance with a precautionary principle, innovations are thoroughly tested before being introduced in the market to verify their safety for the environment and society as a whole.
Public funding for research and development (1) Data includes Chrysler Group for the full year (2) Data restated to include Chrysler Group and to exclude companies demerged into Fiat Industrial S.p.A. (3) European Investment Bank.