Chrysler to test production on compact Dodge in August

2013 Dodge Caliber Sketch

Chrysler Group LLC’s CEO Sergio Marchionne has been very aggressive in increasing the stake of Fiat SpA in the Auburn Hills automaker. Earlier this month, the U.S. Treasury announced that it reached an agreement to sell to Fiat it’s 6 percent equity interest in Chrysler.

Top increase its stake to 52 percent, Chrysler must test and commit to building a compact car in the United States that will achieve 40 mpg.

According to Fred Goedtel, head of Chrysler’s vehicle assembly operations, Chrysler plans to start testing production in the second half of 2011 of the compact Dodge car. Tooling for the car will be installed at Chrysler’s Belvidere, Ill., assembly plant in August, Goedtel said.

“We’ll start pilots in the fall” and official production begins “sometime” in the first quarter, he said. “The company is really focused on it,” he said of the vehicle.

The compact car will be the 2013 Dodge Caliber and is expected to debut at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show.

– By: Omar Rana

Source: Automotive News