* Big deal
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While I was in Italy, Fiat showed me round their vast commercial vehicle factory on the outskirts of Turin. And when I say vast I mean it. They use coaches running between the production lines to take visitors round, the main plant alone having 79 acres of covered factory space. It contains 4,200 machine tools and the machine-tool maintenance and tool-sharpening shop is as big as some people's entire truck factory.
This Fiat SPA (Socieda Piemonte Autoveicolo) factory at Stura produces everything from half-ton vans to maximum-capacity trucks and buses; last year this single plant produced 38,000 commerical units plus 100,000 engines, and this year's output is running at 180 chassis and 500 engines a day.