Fiat and Chrysler LLC’s CEO, Sergio Marchionne, says that the Italian automaker is scheduled to increase its stake in the American automaker to 35 percent in 2011. That will be up from the current 20 percent. The steps required to increase Fiat’s stake in Chrysler were established when the two companies became partners in 2009.
The first step includes launching the Fiat 500 subcompact in the United States. The Fiat 500 will go on sale in Spring of 2011 powered by Fiat”s 1.4L in-line 4-cylinder engine featuring MultiAir technology.
The second step includes a new Dodge compact sedan, which will be based on the Alfa Romeo Giulietta. The model will be built in the United States and is scheduled to debut at the end of 2011. It is expected to achieve 40 mpg.
“The new architecture, which debuted (in Europe) with the Alfa Romeo Giulietta (compact hatchback), is the most advanced mass-produced car Fiat has ever had, and at Chrysler, Dodge will use it first,” Marchionne said.
The third step involves taking Chrysler products global.
In terms of acquiring 51 percent of Chrysler, Marchionne said there is no immediate need to exercise that move until Chrysler has repaid its loans to the U.S. and Canadian governments.
– By: Omar Rana
Source: Automotive News, Detroit News