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Unread 2009-09-21, 01:46 PM   #1
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Default Fiat wants Chrysler to be a Cadillac competitor



When you were a kid, there was probably a point when your mom or dad told you that you could one day be president of the United States. They probably didn't really mean it, but at least they wanted you to push yourself a little harder to achieve life's goals. Fiat appears to be in a similar situation with its new underling, Chrysler. The Italian automaker is working through a far-reaching game plan for the Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge brands, and it sees Chrysler competing in the luxury space. Chrysler brand CEO Peter Fong is setting the bar high, too, as he sees the brand being "a notch above Lincoln, a notch above Cadillac."

You may recall former parent Daimler had similar aspirations for the Chrysler brand, with vehicles like the 300 and Pacifica leading the way. While the 300 had some success and commanded a reasonably high MSRP, the Pacifica was a comparative failure. Then Chrysler followed up with the Sebring, which put to bed any hopes and prayers for an upscale Chrysler brand. Fong told Automotive News that Chrysler needs to be better differentiated from Dodge; a nameplate that management wants to be known more for driving dynamics. The only marque that will likely remain largely intact after Fiat's sweeping changes is Jeep, and even then, the Jeep lineup will likely receive more small, front-wheel drive-based vehicles in an effort to satisfy increasingly stringent CAFE standards.

While we can see how a more upscale Chrysler brand would be a great idea, we're having a hard time seeing how the Pentastar's namesake will catch up to Cadillac (or its competitors) any time soon. The resurgence of the Wreath and Crest has been seven years in the making, and even now the brand's success essentially rides on one product – the CTS. New models like the BMW 3 Series-fighting ATS and large and luxurious XTS promise to rebuild some of the momentum that Cadillac has recently lost, but even that remains to be seen. Chrysler, on the other hand, currently has nothing that can reasonably be said to compete with Cadillac, and judging from comments made by Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne, there isn't anything in the pipeline, either. It's good to dream, though, right?
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Unread 2009-09-21, 01:47 PM   #2
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They aren't going to be with that....thing...
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Unread 2009-09-21, 02:07 PM   #3
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Fiat SpA and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, plans to release a new 5 year business plan outlining Chrysler Group’s product overhaul in November. According to some early interviews with Chrysler executives, Automotive News found out three main things that may be outlined in Nov.

- Chrysler: Brand will become more luxurious… more luxurious than Cadillac.
- Dodge: Brand will become known for its driving dynamics.
- Jeep: Will remain as is with some Fiat technology.

“We’re going to have to offer a broad array of products across every one of the segments,” said Peter Fong, Chrysler brand CEO and head of sales for all the brands. Fong is looking to take the Chrysler brand upscale and is also considering a subcompact entry.

Michael Accavitti, Dodge CEO and head of marketing for all the brands, said that Dodge needs to evolve from its muscle car spirit from brute force to driving dynamics.

As for Jeep, CEO Michael Manley says that while Fiat technology and platforms will be part of the plan, “You won’t see Fiat DNA in our brands.”
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Unread 2009-10-27, 09:48 AM   #4
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Early Look At Fiat And Chrysler’s U.S. Model Roll Out

The Fiat-Chrysler partnership has been brewing since well before the economic meltdown and federal loan bonanza of late 2008, but it's still taking shape as the automakers find ways to work to their mutual benefit. The combined companies’ new CEO Sergio Marchionne is set to reveal the future plans for both Fiat and Chrysler in just a week’s time but we already have much of the details on hand.

According to people briefed on the plans, Alfa Romeo is set to return as a volume player in 2012. Fiat will be here too, although the only model planned is the 500 minicar, which should in early 2011.

Don’t feel too bad Fiat isn’t coming here in full force.Chrysler will introduce several new models that rely on Fiat platforms and technology. The first of these will be a new mid-sized sedan from Chrysler based on Fiat’s C-Evo platform, followed by new hatchback and a compact Jeep. There will also be redesigned versions of the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Chrysler 300 arriving as early as next year.

Several models will be dropped from Chrysler’s U.S. lineup as well. These will include a number of Dodge models, such as the Caliber, Nitro, Avenger, and several Jeep models, too, such as the Commander, Compass, and Patriot. Other vehicles getting the axe include Chrysler’s PT Cruiser and Sebring.

Instead, we’ll get to enjoy several new Alfa Romeos. In the pipeline are the MiTo and Milano hatchbacks as well as the replacement for the current 159, the Giulia mid-sized sedan. All three models are due after 2012 and are destined for production in North America.
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Unread 2009-10-27, 01:47 PM   #5
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Wall Street Journal makes early Chrysler, Dodge and Fiat predictions

Finally, after years of mismanagement marked by a distinct lack of tangible product decisions, the Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep brands seem likely to get a thorough makeover via its new Fiat corporate overlords. Whether this turns into a good thing or bad thing for the three brands remains to be seen, and the stage is set for the plan to be officially released on November 4.

The Wall Street Journal has apparently procured a little inside knowledge on the plan, and, if accurate, there are a few surprises. First, the expected: Chrysler will begin offering the Fiat 500 in its own U.S. dealerships as soon as possible; Alfa Romeo will make its long-awaited American comeback with an established dealer network and the majority of the Dodge and Chrysler lineups will be reworked atop Fiat platforms, save the rear-wheel drive architecture of the Dodge Charger/Challenger and Chrysler 300.

Looking further down the line, the Dodge Grand Caravan will reportedly be dropped in favor of the Chrysler Town and Country and unloved nameplates like Dodge Nitro, Caliber and Avenger will be forgotten, probably along with the Jeep Patriot and Compass. New models will be brought in from Fiat to replace these outgoing cars, including a new mid-size sedan in 2012. Finally, Alfa Romeo's resurgence will begin with the subcompact MiTo in 2012 and a larger sedan a year later.

We won't know how much of this is accurate until we hear it from the horse's mouth next Wednesday, but it definitely gives us plenty to chew on
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Unread 2009-10-27, 02:24 PM   #6
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They aren't going to be with that....thing...
I rofl'd.

I bet that would sell really well in tha hood.
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Unread 2009-10-28, 08:44 AM   #7
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First Fiat 500s Will Be Sporty Abarth Version



Many in the U.S. have been hoping to receive the wildly popular Fiat 500 minicar for the past couple of years but a lack of interest in small cars has largely held it back. Now, with Fiat's alliance with Chrysler in place the Italian auto giant has a gateway to the lucrative U.S. market and the first model to arrive under the new alliance will be the 500, and according to latest reports it won’t be the ordinary model that’s coming first but rather, the high performance Abarth.

The 500 is scheduled to hit showrooms in 2011 and it’s set to be the only Fiat-badged model coming here. According to Ward's Auto, Chrysler dealers have been advised that the first batch of 500s will be the Abarth.

To differentiate the Abarth 500 from the standard version, the new car comes with a sporty bodykit with larger air intakes, side skirts, a rear diffuser, pumped fenders, Abarth decals and new alloys plus the famed scorpion logo on the grille. Up back is an integrated rear diffuser and dual exhaust tips finished in chrome. The interior continues the sporty theme with new bucket seats, alloy pedals, leather trim and 16 inch wheels.

Power comes from Fiat’s turbocharged T-Jet petrol engine, developing a peak 135 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 132 pound-feet of torque at 2,500 rpm. Drive is sent to the front wheels and 0-60 mph times should fall in the low 7 second range. Mileage rates in around 25-33 mpg.

Fiat forecasts first-year sales of 20,000-25,000 Abarth 500s in the U.S., with pricing coming in around the $18,000-$19,000 mark.
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Unread 2009-11-03, 09:43 AM   #8
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A new Chrysler logo takes wing?



New Chrysler logo filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Tomorrow, we'll get the official skinny from Chrysler on what the automaker's product plans are over the next few years. As the Fiat-directed new (and new again) Chrysler looks to break free from the shackles of mediocrity and reinvent itself, a filing at the U.S. Patent and Trademark office appears to confirm an Allpar report published earlier this month, showing the new winged logo that will presumably adorn cars coming from the Chrysler division. The look is sleeker and clearly more modern than the previous winged logo, which incorporated the old Chrysler seal. The new one has an almost Aston-esque vibe to it, featuring "Chrysler" embossed in a blue emblem centered between the outstretched wings. Allpar also reports that Dodge cars will ditch the Ram's-head logo for something all their own as well. We've got a feeling everything will be revealed during Chrysler's marathon six-hour press briefing tomorrow, so stay tuned for more.
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Unread 2009-11-03, 12:14 PM   #9
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Chrysler, Fiat merger may take 10 years to ‘fully bear fruits’

On Wednesday, executives from Fiat and Chrysler will both outline what they have planned for Chrysler Group LLC over the next 5-years. The event will be held in Auburn Hills and about 300 people are expected to attend including analysts, government and union officials, dealer representatives and media to hear for what CEO Sergio Marchionne has to say.

Not to rain on their parade or anything but a Deutsche Bank analysis said that Chrysler Group LLC and Fiat SpA vehicles have little in common, which will making harmonizing their products, parts and purchasing programs difficult.

And almost all automotive mergers and acquisition deals “took easily a decade to fully bear fruits,” the report, which was released Monday, said. “We doubt Chrysler/Fiat can be much quicker.”

Analysts say that the cost benefits of combined purchasing for the Fiat and Chrysler will not be easily realized given their different geographic regions. However, on a more positive note, the geographic differences between the two companies offer a lot of market potential.

Bringing Alfa Romeo to the United States and heavily marketing Jeep in other markets is definitely in the cards.
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Unread 2009-11-03, 12:14 PM   #10
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Jeep will be the only Chrysler Group brand sold outside of the U.S.

Just before October ended, The Wall Street Journal leaked some details from Chrysler Group LLC CEO Sergio Marchionne’s 5-year business and product plan. The full plan in detail will be revealed on November 4.

According to people familiar with the plan, Fiat will also scrap Chrysler’s long-held plans for its brands outside of North America with the exception of Jeep. Sources said that Fiat plans to develop the Jeep brand and increase marketing for the SUV brand in emerging markets.

Sources said that the five-hour presentation by Fiat and Chrysler executives will focus on plans to bring new fuel-efficient models with Fiat-developed engine technology to the United States. That will include plans to bring over Fiat’s fuel-saving MultiAir engine technology to Chrysler cars.

A Chrysler spokeswoman declined to comment on any product announcements but said “it will be comprehensive.”
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Unread 2009-11-04, 10:05 AM   #11
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The New New Chrysler Is The Old Jeep

It seems like just yesterday we heard about the "New" Cerberus-run Chrysler. That didn't work. Today we're in Auburn Hills, MI to hear the five-year plan of the even-newer Fiat-controlled "New" Chrysler. This oughtta be good. What to expect, below.

With Chrysler sales plummeting to Carpocalypticly horrific levels this past month, a new game plan's clearly needed. We've already reported on some of what we've been told to expect — that certain models will not be long for this earth and Chrysler'll be getting a new logo. It's clear there's very little of the "Old" Chrysler Fiat wants to keep. But apparently, according to the WSJ's Kate Linebaugh, they expect Jeep to play a starring role in Fiat's attempt to turn-around Chrysler:


Quote:
"As part of a new five-year business strategy it will unveil Wednesday, Chrysler is expected to spell out a plan to expand Jeep's sales dramatically, especially in overseas markets, people familiar with the matter said."
Friend of Jalopnik Jim Hall (of auto consulting firm 2953 Analytics) agrees, telling the WSJ:

Quote:
"Jeep is an export-viable product that could end up with significant sales...there are lots of countries where Jeeps are desirable vehicles, like Brazil."
The only question is — what product are they talking about exporting? The Journal says four models are expected to be eliminated over the next four years and be replaced by two new Jeeps based on Fiat technology. The Jeep Commander is slated for elimination next year while the mid-size Liberty and Compass and Patriot will be replaced by Fiat-based vehicles in 2013, according to their source.

Well, we always knew Jeep would either doom an automaker — as it did with AMC, Willys and Kaiser-Jeep — or save them. Which will it be this time? We'll be here live covering the event — so follow along with us at my twitter account and here all day long.
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Unread 2009-11-04, 11:39 AM   #12
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Michael Accavitti, Dodge CEO and head of marketing for all the brands, said that Dodge needs to evolve from its muscle car spirit from brute force to driving dynamics.
So they are bringing back the Viper with a turbo??
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Unread 2009-11-04, 01:39 PM   #13
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Ram considering a new mid-size unibody pickup to replace Dakota

n a rambling presentation that presented almost nothing of any value, Fred Diaz, CEO of Chrysler's newly-created Ram brand, did drop at least one little tidbit in passing. Currently the Dodge truck offerings consist of only two vehicles, the full-size Ram and the mid-size Dakota. The long-term fate of the Dakota has been the subject of much speculation but one of Diaz's slides did mention that Ram was considering a replacement. The key word was "considering."

Interestingly, the possible replacement would be based on a unibody platform which in all likelihood would be derived from the new Grand Cherokee/Durango architecture. That would be a big departure for Chrysler – jumping into a vehicle type that currently consists of only the slow selling Honda Ridgeline. If Chrysler were to build this vehicle, it would make sense to do something to differentiate it from the big Ram, and perhaps with the right styling and powertrain – perhaps something like the Rampage concept from 2006 – it could be more successful than the Honda.

The current Durango will remain in production until mid-2011 and the new truck, if approved, would not launch until at least then.
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Unread 2009-11-04, 01:41 PM   #14
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Dodge to end Viper production in July 2010,

At the Chrysler business plan meeting this morning, Ralph Gilles, CEO of the Dodge car brand, dropped big news on the Viper. After going back and forth for the past 18 months on what to do with Viper, Chrysler has decided that production of the current Viper will end in July 2010. Before that happens, 500 final cars will be built that, according to Gilles, will be the most special Vipers ever. Gilles explained that the company wanted to preserve the value of existing Vipers by not continuing the current generation indefinitely. He didn't give any details on what would be special with the final 500 cars.

However, Viper fans need not mourn yet. Gilles revealed that an all new car is being developed with a launch targeted in 2012! Even better the Viper will be getting some help from Chrysler's new Italian colleagues... and lets not forget about a certain Fiat outpost that uses a yellow-and-black Prancing Horse for its logo that's based in Maranello. Let's just hope they keep the Viper's elemental nature in the new generation.
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Unread 2009-11-04, 02:07 PM   #15
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First "My Name Is Ram" Ad: My Tank Is Full...

Here's the first look at the new ad for the Dodge Ram brand with the awkwardly double entendre-filled, overly repeated taglines: My Name Is Ram and My Tank Is Full. Yeah, you're definitely full of something New New Chrysler.

http://jalopnik.com/5397084/first-my...y-tank-is-full
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Unread 2009-11-04, 02:09 PM   #16
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The New New Chrysler: Update #1



The Fiat 500 will land on U.S. shores in the fourth quarter of 2010 with the 1.4-liter multiair engine, according to Chrysler. A turbo version will arrive a year later
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Unread 2009-11-04, 02:10 PM   #17
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Jeep Mojave: The Future Savior Of Chrysler?



We just saw the new logo for Chrysler revealed early by way of the US Patent Office. Now, the name of one of Chrysler's purported off-road saviors — the Jeep Mojave — has been revealed with a similar search.

Just a few minutes after we learned of Fiat's plans to off-road Chrysler out of financial distress with new Fiat-based Jeep models, we think we learned the name of one of them is "Mojave." We guess we'll find out in a couple hours here at Chrysler, but for the moment we've got the USPTO info we're going off of.

Just to be on the safe side, we went ahead and bought JeepMojave.com. You know, to make sure nobody else does before Chrysler gets a chance to make a play for it.
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Unread 2009-11-04, 02:45 PM   #18
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Dodge to end Viper production in July 2010,

At the Chrysler business plan meeting this morning, Ralph Gilles, CEO of the Dodge car brand, dropped big news on the Viper. After going back and forth for the past 18 months on what to do with Viper, Chrysler has decided that production of the current Viper will end in July 2010. Before that happens, 500 final cars will be built that, according to Gilles, will be the most special Vipers ever. Gilles explained that the company wanted to preserve the value of existing Vipers by not continuing the current generation indefinitely. He didn't give any details on what would be special with the final 500 cars.

However, Viper fans need not mourn yet. Gilles revealed that an all new car is being developed with a launch targeted in 2012! Even better the Viper will be getting some help from Chrysler's new Italian colleagues... and lets not forget about a certain Fiat outpost that uses a yellow-and-black Prancing Horse for its logo that's based in Maranello. Let's just hope they keep the Viper's elemental nature in the new generation.
I was jus thinking the other day that Chrysler will most likely redesign the Viper for 2012.
Hope they keep the V-10 at least.
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Unread 2009-11-04, 03:36 PM   #19
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Jeep Patriot and Compass being replaced by models from Fiat... Panda, here we come!



It comes as little surprise that Jeep is looking beyond its current Patriot and Compass models, which have, to put it mildly, underperformed in the burgeoning compact CUV market. While the two concepts had lots of potential, the actual production ComPatriot twins were deemed uncompetitive with class leaders right when they were launched.

As such, the two models are both destined to meet their makers after the 2012 model, to be replaced by a single model sourced from Fiat. Can you say Panda (the image above is just a possible rendering, not a production car)? It's also worth noting that the iconic Wranger will get mild makeovers for both the 2010 and 2011 model years along with what seems likely to be a special 70th Anniversary Wranger for 2011.

Across the line, all Jeeps will reportedly come with an optional Trail Rated package, which means no more on-road only models like the Compass are likely to dilute the Jeep brand. That edict includes the new Grand Cherokee, and Jeep says the Trail Rated Grand Cherokee has already successfully tackled the legendary Rubicon Trail and Moab.
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Unread 2009-11-04, 03:40 PM   #20
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Ram brand may enter heavy-duty 18-wheeler market



In addition to the passing note about considering a unibody replacement for the slow-selling Dodge Dakota, Ram CEO Fred Diaz said (with conviction...!) that they are strongly considering entering the heavy-duty 18-wheeler market with the Ram brand.

Interesting, no? The consumer-grade pickup that popularized the big rig styling on a smaller scale might make the jump up the ranks and into the heavy-hauler market. In the past, Dodge has teamed up with both Sterling and Freightliner – both of which are big players in the large truck marketplace – and the Ram brand is sure to keep up its current partnership with heavy truck engine maker Cummins. In other words, it might not be as big a leap as you may at first think to see a Ram-badged 18-wheeler rolling down a highway near you within the next few years.
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Unread 2009-11-04, 04:04 PM   #21
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2012 Dodge Charger: First Look



Among the news from today's New New Chrysler briefing was this slide of the 2012 Dodge Charger. The design is so good it apparently made Ralph Giles weep with joy. Look familiar? There's a reason...

This image reveals a sloping belt line and strong curve building from the front to the shoulders, reminiscent of the 1999 Dodge RT Charger Concept (below) it seems to borrow heavily from. We're also told the new Charger initially had rear door handles in the roof line rather than the door panel — giving it a two-door look — but this was eventually dropped. Any other details stick out?


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Unread 2009-11-04, 04:51 PM   #22
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This is good news for Chrysler. Marchionne isn't fucking around.
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Unread 2009-11-04, 04:52 PM   #23
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This is good news for Chrysler. Marchionne isn't fucking around.
nope, just have to make it reality
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Unread 2009-11-04, 06:08 PM   #24
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Chrysler to launch four Special Editions in first quarter of 2010

Much has been made of Chrysler's apparent lack of new products for the 2010 model year. Suffice it to say, while there are big things in store for Chrysler, they will take at least another year to get into production. For instance, while removing the unsightly strakes from the hood of the unloved Sebring sedan and convertible is a nice gesture, it's not nearly far enough to make the car suddenly competitive with its chief rivals in the ultra competitive midsize sedan arena.

Not entirely surprisingly then, Chrysler is trying its best to add a few reasons to purchase its current models before the major changes happen in the next few years. Each of Chrysler's current nameplates – 300, Town and Country, Sebring and PT Cruiser – get Special Editions that will hit the market in the first quarter of 2010.

First, the 300 is slated to get a complete redesign later on in 2010, probably as a 2011 model vehicle. Regardless, the current 300 will get a Sport Edition that's targeted at the youth market before the reboot button is officially pressed. The Town and Country gets a Fashion Edition and the Sebring gets an Ocean Edition (we have no idea what that means).

Lastly, the long-in-the-tooth PT Cruiser gets a Final Edition (finally final? Promise?) and the nameplate is not scheduled to live on past the 2010 model year. So, if you want one... better hit your local dealer post haste. As a parting note, Chrysler never actually mentioned it, but take a good look at the new Chrysler 300 brochure at the top right of the image above – that doesn't look like the current 300 grille, does it? Hint, hint.
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Unread 2009-11-04, 06:09 PM   #25
JDLM
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Chrysler to outfit Fiat 500-approved dealers with specific showroom "salons"

Listening to Chrysler's long and rambling 2010-2014 Business Plan, it was clear that the company and its dealerships are very much looking forward to finally getting the Fiat 500 in North America. Much like what happened when BMW launched the Mini brand eight-odd years ago, it's hoped that the cute little 500 will attract a whole new customer to the Chrysler fold.

In order to properly court those new wallets buyers, Chrysler plans to open "specific interior showroom branded salons" in select dealerships, mostly in metropolitan areas. A dedicated set of salespeople will be assigned to sell the Fiat 500 in the States... ya know, since they otherwise wouldn't know how to sell the important car to American consumers.

There will also be a full line of accessories made available to customize the new car, which we would expect will include unique color and stripe packages both inside and out along with a slew of optional wheel designs. Whatever, make ours an Abarth and we're good. Expect all of this to take place before the end of 2010 as the Fiat 500 finally starts to show up in those selected dealerships.
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