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Unread 2010-01-19, 02:21 PM   #101
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Chrysler Looking For New Plant To Build Fiats



hrysler is currently on the lookout for a new site in North America to start building Fiat-based models, with the first cars tipped to be rolling off the factory floor as early as this year.
The information comes from Chrysler's senior vice president for manufacturing, Scott Garberding, who revealed that there a number of options on the table, including the construction of a brand new plant.
Three production plants thought to be in consideration include Chrysler's Canadian MPV plant in Windsor, Ontario, as well as a plant in the U.S. and Mexico. The Windsor plant in Canada currently builds the Chrysler Town & Country, as well as the Dodge Grand Caravan. If this plant is re-tooled for Fiat production, it could produce Alfa Romeo's MiTo small car as well as a possible Chrysler vehicle based on Fiat's C-Evo platform.
Other plants under consideration include Chrysler's Mexico plant that currently builds the Dodge Journey and the Chrysler PT Cruiser. With the PT Cruiser coming to the end of its life this summer, this could pave the way for the construction of cars derived from Fiat's A platform, such as the popular Fiat 500 minicar. There is also speculation that a new entry-level Jeep model could be developed from Fiat's Panda Cross 4x4 or possibly the flexible C-Evo platform.
Finally, Chrysler is also considering its assembly plant in Belvidere, Illinois. This plant assembles the Dodge Caliber, as well as the Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot. With a Fiat-backed re-tooling, the plant could easily produce a number of Fiat models, such as the upcoming Alfa Romeo Giulietta and the 159-replacement.
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Unread 2010-01-19, 06:05 PM   #102
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Next Dodge Durango to be called Magnum



According to an Autoblog source, Dodge will abandon the Durango nameplate for the model's replacement due for 2012. In place of that two-generation designator, Chrysler is exhuming the Magnum nameplate, a moniker used on the low-slung wagon built on Chrysler's LX platform up until 2008. The new Magnum is expected to be built atop the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee chassis (itself riding on Mercedes-Benz-derived architecture) and skew more toward the crossover segment than the previous rough-and-ready SUV.

Our source originally showed us a screen capture of a Pentastar service training software page on its Chrysler Academy Learning Center confirming the Magnum's existence (shown above), but at that time, he wasn't clear what the vehicle was. Since then, our man has learned through a Chrysler zone manager at a New York dealer's meeting that the line item in question is indeed the next Durango. A secondary source close to the situation confirmed to Autoblog that a name change for the new vehicle is in the cards and that Magnum is under serious consideration, but he was unclear as to whether a final decision had been made.

The Durango was introduced in 1998 and immediately found success riding the crest of the SUV boom. A second-generation debuted for 2004 and ran through the 2009 model year, but the larger redesigned model didn't meet with the same sort of success as its predecessor, struggling to deal with the collapse of the body-on-frame SUV market and increasingly plentiful crossover options.

It isn't immediately clear what the reasoning is behind Chrysler's apparent name change strategy, especially as the 2005-2008 Magnum itself wasn't considered much of a sales success (it was consistently outsold by its LX platform stablemates, the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger). That said, with the model being more CUV-like than a body-on-frame bruiser, the change seems to make some sense. Further, Magnum remains a powerful nameplate, and the Pentastar has a long history of employing it for any number of different products, including a large B-platform coupe in the late 1970s, a range of engines, and a Mexican-market K-car mode
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Unread 2010-01-20, 08:19 AM   #103
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Fiat supplier to setup shop in Auburn Hills


Magneti Marelli, a Fiat-owned automotive supplier, has announced it will be setting up shop in Auburn Hills, Michigan. The Italian firm will invest $4.5 million into its new Auburn Hills location over the next five years, transforming three buildings into one and creating 200 new jobs.

The deal was sealed earlier on Tuesday following the Michigan Economic Growth Authority’s decision to approve a new tax credit system. Per the terms of the new tax credit system, businesses that create jobs paying at least 300 percent of the national minimum wage are eligible for tax breaks.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Auburn Hills-based Magneti Marelli employees will earn an average of $1,718 per week. Magneti Marelli manufactures several vehicle components, including dashboards, lighting systems and shock absorbers.
The announcement of Magneti Marelli’s new Michigan operations lends credence to earlier reports that Chrysler is searching for a new North American plant to produce its forthcoming Fiat-based vehicles. It also remains possible that Magneti Marelli could become a regular supplier to Chrysler’s current North American plants.
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Unread 2010-01-20, 08:20 AM   #104
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Marchionne: Chrysler And Lancia Could Be Merged Within The Year

Chrysler's North American lineup is for a major shakeup within the next couple of years and according to the company's new Italian CEO the first changes could start by the end of the year.
Processes are already in place to help merge Chrysler with Italy's Lancia brand (a subsidiary of Fiat). Chrysler would be phased out of the European market--it's models used to fill the gaps in Lancia's lineup overseas--and here in North America Lancia products would be used to expand Chrysler's limited range.
The information comes directly from Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne who revealed to Autocar that Chrysler and Lancia could converge as early as the end of the year and that the move would make sense because each marque had gaps in its range that could be filled by the other.
“In Europe, Lancia is an undersized, underdeveloped brand, with nothing bigger than the Delta. Chrysler, which has a true global reach, has nothing smaller. Put them together and you have a full lineup,” he said.
The first clues have already been revealed. At last month's 2010 Detroit Auto Show Chrysler showed off a re-badged Lancia Delta (pictured) and late last year Lancia CEO Olivier Francois was appointed head of Chrysler--a clear indication that the two brands will become more closely entwined.


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Unread 2010-01-22, 08:28 AM   #105
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Report: Fiat Grouping Together Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Abarth Brands

Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Abarth are three brands that the Fiat Group has ambitious plans for in the U.S. so it's not surprising to hear that all three are likely to be grouped together and run under the same leadership.
Most readers would be familiar with the Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands but Abarth is something relatively new, at least here in the U.S. Abarth is the performance and racing arm for Fiat and is responsible for a hotted up version of the 500 minicar that will be sold in local showrooms around the end of the year.
According to people familiar with Fiat's plan, Harald J. Wester, who is currently CEO of Maserati and Abarth, will head the new Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Abarth division. His role will be primarily to identify synergies between Maserati and the loss-making Alfa Romeo, and this could possibly lead to Alfa Romeo's first models being sold in Maserati dealerships across the country.
Turning around the Alfa Romeo brand will be a tough task for Wester but there are currently two options being investigated. One is to stop all future investment for Alfa Romeo and just focus on selling the MiTo and upcoming Giulietta hatchbacks, and the other is to use two different Chrysler platforms to underpin replacements for the 159 and 166 sedans in the respective D- and E-segments.
Alfa Romeo's current CEO, Sergio Cravero, is expected to be transferred to another division within the expanding Fiat Group.
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Unread 2010-01-25, 09:51 AM   #106
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2011 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Interior Revealed





ans of Italian styling are anxiously awaiting Fiat and Alfa Romeo's full scale return to the U.S. now that the alliance deal between the Italian auto giant and Chrysler has been well and truly signed off.
One of Alfa Romeo’s upcoming models is particularly important as it will form the basis of a new Chrysler sedan planned for U.S. production. The car is the 2010 Alfa Romeo Giulietta and we now have new spy images revealing its interior for the first time.
The Giulietta will replace the Alfa Romeo 147 hatchback sold overseas and will compete against the likes of the Volkswagen Golf and new Ford Focus. Unlike the current 147, however, the Giulietta will only be available as a five-door.
Several engine options will be available overseas, all turbocharged and ranging between 120 and 170 horsepower. A high-performance 230 horsepower version is expected soon after its initial launch. Transmission options include 5- and 6-speed manuals and further down the track will be a new dual-clutch automatic option.
Under the pretty sheet metal sits a MacPherson strut suspension set-up in the front and a new multi-link design at the rear.
A U.S. launch is still uncertain but chances are the Giulietta will arrive locally sometime next year. Production of the stylish hatch is also expected to take place locally as the platform underpinning the car, Fiat's C-Evo architecture, will be used for the aforementioned Chrysler sedan that will be built at a North American plant.
Stay tuned for an update as more information is due closer to the Giulietta's world debut at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show in March.
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Unread 2010-01-25, 11:33 AM   #107
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Fiat releases revised 1.3-liter Multijet diesel and new hue



What better place to introduce a new set of duds than at a fashion show? Fiat chose the "Bread & Butter" youth fashion show in Berlin to debut a new color for its Fiat 500 by Diesel. The limited edition Diesel has been available in black and green up until now, with 6,000 of the planned 10,000 units already sold. Those still in the market for a 500 by Diesel can now choose to have their Cinquecento slathered in the newly available "Midnight Indigo" blue, which was specially chosen because it "recalls the denim used to make jeans," according to Fiat.

Now, a new body color usually isn't enough to warrant a whole post, even a sharp-looking dark denim blue. No, Fiat has more to offer in this update than just the cool new hue. Underhood they've stuffed their latest Euro 5 compliant 1.3-liter Multijet II engine. The second-generation turbodiesel features the company's Start&Stop system and is good for 95 horsepower.

The Indigo version also gets the same upgrades as its predecessors – 16" alloy wheels, a faux rear air intake, satin chrome trim, and yellow brake calipers on the 1.4-liter, 100 horsepower version. Inside you'll find a dark denim fabric with yellow stitching that features the signature Diesel fifth pocket, the famous Mohican head on the shift knob and more satin chrome highlights
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Unread 2010-01-27, 12:53 AM   #108
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Fiat Punto Evo bows, looks good



We never really considered ourselves the Fiat Punto kind, but the 2010 Evo variant strikes a chord, and for a little guy it comes with a lot of kit. The Blue&Me interface will be available on all trim levels, providing control of all the car's major functions, along with a mobile phone, MP3 player and touch-screen navigation. On top of that will be rain sensors, ESP with Hill Holder, engine start-stop and adaptive cornering fog lights.

There will be two chassis options: Grande Punto and Sporting, which both come with a "sport chassis" and "more assertive looks;" and Comfort. There are five engines to choose from: four of the firm's new MultiAir, and MultiJet II diesel models, from a 1.3-liter, 75-horsepower MultiJet to 1.4-liter, 135-hp MultiAir turbo, and a vanilla 1.4-liter, 77-hp gas variant. A sixth engine choice, the 1.6-liter MultiJet with 120 hp, comes in October.

We could tell you more about it but Fiat has graciously composed a textbook-length press release on the car. You'll find it after the jump, and lots of pretty pictures in the high-res gallery below.
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Unread 2010-01-27, 08:27 AM   #109
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Fiat unites Maserati, Abarth, Alfa Romeo under one CEO

With the unification of Fiat and Chrysler, we're been expecting major changes in the corporate structure of the two automakers and their various brands. Most recently, Lancia chief executive Olivier Francois was named head of the Chrysler division, leading to reports that the two brands – similarly positioned in the sub-luxury premium segment – will be integrated into one unit. Now similar reports place the Abarth, Maserati and Alfa Romeo brands under common leadership.

Let's get ready to play musical chairs for a moment... This news comes with the appointment of Harald Wester as CEO of Alfa Romeo. In his new role, Wester replaces Sergio Cravero, who himself was recently promoted from the brand's communications directorate to serve as a replacement for the departing Luca de Meo who will change to a new role as head of product planning for the entire Fiat Group.

Wester, meanwhile, retains not only his roles as group chief technical officer, but also as CEO of both the Abarth and Maserati brands. As a result, we can expect to see a deeper level of collaboration between these performance-oriented brands within the expanding Fiat empire. Details in the press release after the jump.


Quote:
PRESS RELEASE

HARALD WESTER NEW CEO OF ALFA ROMEO AUTOMOBILES


Harald J. Wester has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of Alfa Romeo Automobiles, replacing Sergio Cravero, who will assume responsibility for Product Portfolio Planning & Product Concept of Fiat Group Automobiles.

Mr. Wester will maintain his current positions as Chief Technical Officer for Fiat Group and Fiat Group Automobiles and Chief Executive Officer of Maserati and Abarth.

The Fiat Group Chief Executive, Sergio Marchionne, stated: "The purpose of bringing the Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Abarth brands under the same leadership is to emphasize and leverage the value of the shared qualities of the three brands in terms of their sporting characteristics and performance. Harald Wester, who has demonstrated his enormous commitment on several fronts and achieved optimum results, will bring strong leadership capabilities and solid technical experience and know-how to this project. In his new role, Sergio Cravero will be well positioned to fully leverage his technical and commercial abilities."

Turin, 22 January 2010
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Unread 2010-01-27, 01:58 PM   #110
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Marchionne: 2010 ‘crucial’ year for Chrysler to rebuild consumer confidence

If the last couple of years weren’t crucial enough, Chrysler Group LLC’s new CEO Sergio Marchionne said yesterday that 2010 will be a very significant year to rebuild consumer confidence in the Auburn Hills automaker.
“These things take time, but I think 2010 is the crucial year. We need to do most of that work (of restoring consumer confidence in Chrysler) in 2010,” Marchionne said. ”We started last year a piece at a time rebuilding the component elements of the brand equity.”
He said that new product offerings coming to the market in the second, third and fourth quarter will see a rebuilding of that equity in terms of actual sales.
Chrysler sales were down 35.9 percent in 2009, underperforming FoMoCo and General Motors.
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Unread 2010-02-01, 10:57 AM   #111
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2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee pricing, options leaked?



JeepGarage.com was the first to get spy shots of the 2011 Jeep Cherokee out testing, and now it's apparently come through with exhaustive – perhaps complete – pricing of Jeep's 'I'm bringing sexy back' SUV. According to the documents, the all-new Cherokee will start at $31,480 (including destination charges) for the base Laredo "E" 4x2, climbing to $45,770 for the Overland-trim 4x4. For comparison's sake, the outgoing 2010 model starts at $31,490 including freight, leaving a Hamilton left over to top off the gas tank.

In addition to the new paints and packages, there are 46 new standard and optional features. Some of them are unequivocally true and new, like including two transfer cases, Adaptive Speed Control, a larger fuel tank, dual-pane sunroof, bi-Xenon headlamps, and of course, illuminated cupholders. Others, like the "Best-in-class premium interior" we're going to have to see to validate.

On top of that are eight pre-packaged trim groups: Electronic Infotainment System, Luxury II, Off Road I & II, Popular Equipment Group, Technology Group, Trailer Tow, and Trailer Tow IV. Naturally, they can't be had across the model range, and a couple of them have intriguing requirements, like the Luxury II which can only be fitted to the Limited models that have the black/light frost beige interior. The new model will finally go on sale later this year, and the way it's looking, this Cherokee might just fulfill the promise of its reveal, and its maker.
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Unread 2010-02-01, 11:12 AM   #112
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First Photos: 2011 Grand Cherokee Gets Trail-Rated



When we first heard the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee was getting air suspension, we were concerned it'd impact off-roading prowess. However, based on these first Rubicon Trail images, the next Grand Cherokee seems to crawl just fine.The wheeling happened during the recent Jeep Jamboree and the new Grand Cherokee's display an impressive level of capability. We were under the impression the next-gen WKs (or whatever they'll be called) were pansy machines, but they're showing some significant badasserry here. If you pay attention in the gallery you'll even see the white one demonstrating some pretty impressive trail rash on the driver's side rear fender.

When Daimler-controlled Jeep said their vehicles wouldn't necessarily be Rubicon rated, we about tossed in the towel, but this new Grand Cherokee is proving there's still hope yet for the perennially cursed brand. It appears the new Grand Cherokee is handsomely appointed, wells-styled, AND capable off road. Color us hopeful for the one new Chrysler product.

Especially given other news today from the folks at JeepGarage.org that the all-new Grand Cherokee may get a starting price of $31,480 (including destination charges) for a base 4x2 Laredo up to $45,770 for a top-of-the range 4x4 Overland. That's a whopping ten bucks cheaper on the low end than the price of the long-in-the-tooth 2010 model
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Unread 2010-02-02, 09:56 AM   #113
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Spy Shots: 2011 Dodge Charger blends butch with bends



During Chrysler's epically long five-year business plan presentation, there were a few Powerpoint slides that caught our attention. Among them was this shot of a new sedan with a sloping C-pillar. It didn't take much deduction to conclude that the roofline in question would form the next Dodge Charger, and now we've got more photographic proof that development is underway.

Caught outside Chrysler's headquarters, this camo'd 2011 Dodge Charger is sporting the same canted and extended roof, along with a set of squared-off headlamps, larger grille and a more sculpted fascia. However, the extent of the exterior modifications pales in comparison to what's going on inside, with a new LCD screen dominating the dash and a smoother center stack. The new Charger won't be covered in camouflage much longer, so expect to see Dodge's refreshed sedan bow later this year with an all-new V6.






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Unread 2010-02-02, 12:21 PM   #114
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Patent drawings reveal Durango-replacing 2012 Dodge Magnum?



Imperfect though it may have been, we kinda miss the Dodge Magnum. Building a low-slung wagon and dropping a Hemi into it took a lot of guts on Chrysler's part. And while it may have been discontinued, it appears to be slated for an encore, albeit in name only.

As we reported a couple of weeks back, Chrysler is considering bringing the Magnum nameplate back for a new crossover to replace the Durango. New U.S. patent drawings have leaked onto the interwebs, giving us a good look at how the new Magnum will appear when it hits the road, anticipated sometime next year as a 2011 or 2012 model.

The new Magnum will definitely be taller than the old one, but considerably more car-like than the body-on-frame Durango it replaces. Underpinnings are expected to be borrowed from the highly anticipated new Jeep Grand Cherokee, with 280-horsepower 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 and 360-hp V8 5.7L V8 on offer.






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Unread 2010-02-03, 10:40 AM   #115
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Fiat Powertrain Technologies to buy General Motors stake in Polish engine plant

One of the last vestiges of the aborted partnership between Fiat and General Motors is coming to a close. An engine plant in Bielsko-Biala, Poland, has been jointly owned by GM and Fiat Powertrain Technologies (FPT). FPT has reached an agreement with GM to buy out the American company's stake.

The plant builds the 1.3-liter Multijet diesel four cylinder that is used in an array of vehicles from both companies including the Opel Corsa and Astra and Fiat 500 and Punto.

The plant will continue building the same engine under Fiat management and GM will continue using the engine. No purchase price has been revealed for GM's stake. The press release is after the jump.




Quote:
Share transfer agreement between Fiat Powertrain Technologies and General Motors

Fiat Powertrain Technologies (FPT) and General Motors (GM) have signed a preliminary share transfer agreement for FPT to acquire GM's 50 per cent share in FIAT-GM Powertrain Polska, an engine manufacturing joint venture in the special economic zone of Bielsko-Biala, Poland.

There will be no impact on the day-to-day manufacturing operations of Bielsko-Biala. The plant will continue to produce the 1.3 liter small diesel engine (SDE) for both Fiat and GM applications and will continue to be managed by FPT.

The 1.3 SDE entered series production in April 2003, it equips most of the Fiat Group models such as Panda, 500, Punto, Mito, Musa/Idea, Ypsilon, Doblò and powers Opel/Vauxhall Agila, Corsa, Meriva, Astra and Combo vehicles in the GM portfolio.

The share transfer agreement is subject to the required antitrust approvals process. This is expected to be completed within the first quarter of 2010 and the sale will become effective at this time.
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Unread 2010-02-04, 08:21 PM   #116
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Chrysler secures Cummins contract



In a move that was expected by both parties and industry analysts alike, Chrysler has secured a contract with diesel engine supplier Cummins, to continue production of the 6.7-liter six-cylinder turbodiesel for Ram Heavy Duty pickups and commercial chassis trucks. The contract extension means that the 21-year business relationship will remain secure into the near future.
Despite Chrysler’s struggles due to an aging portfolio in an otherwise very fresh market, Chrysler maintains a strong reputation concerning its diesel engines. The Cummins diesel is often revered as the best diesel in the light-duty truck market – making the relationship with Cummins vital for Chrysler’s Ram brand to remain a leader in the segment.
“Cummins and Chrysler have a long and important history together,” said Dave Crompton, vice president and general manager of midrange engines at Cummins.
“The Chrysler business continues to be a key part of our midrange engine business, and we’re proud to continue working with Chrysler to develop best-in-class products that customers can depend on,” said Crompton.
Cummins has produced 1.7 million diesels for Chrysler thus far in their relationship, and although neither party has disclosed the exact length of the extension, Cummins hinted that it is a “multi-year extension.”
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Unread 2010-02-08, 10:38 AM   #117
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Chrysler And Lancia To Reveal Joint Product Plan In Geneva


Chrysler’s lineup, both in North America and Europe, is in for a major shakeup over the next couple of years now that the expanding Fiat Group and its demanding CEO Sergio Marchionne are pulling all the strings. We’ve already seen hints of some of the plans with the unveiling of the Chrysler-badged Lancia Delta hatchback at last month’s 2010 Detroit Auto Show and Marchionne pretty much gave it all away when he revealed that the Chrysler and Lancia divisions could be merged within the year.
Now, as the 2010 Geneva Motor Show approaches, Chrysler and Lancia have announced they will hold a joint press conference where they are expected to reveal their future product plans.
While we’ll have to wait until next month’s show for all the official details, reports coming out of Europe claim Fiat has already shown a plan to Italian government representatives and worker union officials that reveals four Chrysler models will be imported from North America and rebadged as Lancias for sale in Italy in 2011. In other European markets the cars will remain as Chryslers.
The models are to include a redesigned Sebring Sedan and Convertible, a facelifted Town & Country minivan and the next-generation 300 sedan. In return, the Lancia Delta hatchback will be sold in North American markets as a Chrysler.
The move makes good sense as Marchionne pointed out in a previous interview.
“In Europe, Lancia is an undersized, underdeveloped brand, with nothing bigger than the Delta. Chrysler, which has a true global reach, has nothing smaller. Put them together and you have a full lineup,” he explained.
Whatever Chrysler and Fiat intend to do, we'll keep you updated with the latest.
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Unread 2010-02-08, 10:49 PM   #118
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Fiat: Alfa Romeo Giulietta will be better than the VW Golf and Ford Focus



According to Fiat, the new Alfa Romeo Giulietta will be quieter and will offer a better ride than the Volkswagen Golf. The Italian automaker says that it will also be more agile than the Ford Focus. The Giulietta will be the first Alfa to use a new compact chassis that Alfa says is supreme in terms of handling, steering feel, performance to weight ratio, ride and comfort.
During testing against the Golf and Focus, Alfa engineers used a Giulietta equipped with a 170-hp turbocharged MultiAir 1.4L engine mated to a twin-clutch paddle-shift gearbox.
The new Alfa Romeo Giulietta will make its debut at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show next month. Prices of the model will similar to the Volkswagen Golf.
Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne says that the Alfa brand has the possibility of being launched in the U.S. only if the Giulietta achieves its European targets.
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Unread 2010-02-09, 04:27 PM   #119
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Fiat 500 gets improved 1.3-liter Multijet II diesel



The incredibly diminutive Fiat 500 will be getting a newer, more powerful and more fuel efficient diesel engine – at least for the European market. Fiat’s CEO, Sergio Marchionne has indicated that the U.S. will be getting the MINI-fighting small car, but he has not confirmed whether or not the diesel variant will be available as well.
The outgoing diesel engine in the Fiat 500 was only good for an anemic 75 horsepower – so Fiat upped the ante with a new Multijet II engine that uses both Start/Stop technology and a new DPF particulate filter. The addition of these changes means that Fiat 500 diesel buyers will be able to enjoy 20 more horsepower at 4,000 rpm, and 148 lb-ft of torque at just 1,500 rpm. Acceleration times from zero-to-62 mph jumped from 12.5 seconds to a respectable 10.7 seconds as well.
Likely the most important improvement in the minds of those shopping for a diesel Fiat 500 is the improvement in fuel economy. On the European cycle and measuring with imperial gallons, the new 500 diesel will return 72.4 mpg – up from 67.3 mpg. Converting to the U.S. standard for gallons, but still using the European test cycle, that is roughly 60 mpg. If the 500 diesel were to come to U.S. soil, expect that number to drop a little more once the EPA gets their hands on it.
The Fiat 500 is expected to make a large appearance at the Chicago Auto Show this week, so stay tuned for live image updates.
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Unread 2010-02-10, 12:53 PM   #120
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Electric Fiat 500 Elettra Pokes Nose Out From Vintage Camo Cover
Here's a first glimpse of the Fiat 500 Elettra, the long-touted electric version of the Fiat 500. We spotted it with it's sexy nose poking out from under this cool vintage 500 car cover.




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Unread 2010-02-11, 03:20 PM   #121
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Chrysler: Fiat 500 On Sale In U.S. By End Of Year



The Fiat 500 will go on sale in the U.S. by the end of the year, according to Dodge Car Brand CEO Ralph Giles in a speech to the Economic Club of Chicago a few minutes ago.

This is despite conventional wisdom saying federalizing the car for the U.S. would take them until at least early 2011, if not later. He also said the Grand Cherokee will be on sale within three months. Given how desperate Chrysler is for new products before they run short on funding and FIAT runs short on patience, it could be a great step forward for the automaker... if it's true.
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Unread 2010-02-12, 04:34 PM   #122
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Gilles: Chrysler to emulate Apple, grown men will cry when they see new Chrysler 300

Since Chrysler Group LLC CEO Sergio Marchionne cancelled his 2010 Chicago Auto Show speech to sign a production deal in Russia, the company’s chief design officer and the CEO of the Dodge Ralph Gilles stepped in to fill the void. During his speech, Gilles said that his hero is Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs and that Chrysler aspires to regain its own spirit of innovation by emulating the computer company.
Chrysler is known as the inventor of the minivan and the SUV segments.
Gilles provided the press with glimpses of future products like the next-generation Chrysler 300 sedan that will debut in December.
“Hopefully, when you see that car, grown men and women will have tears running from their eyes,” Gilles said. “Hopefully, when you see that, you will say, ‘Go, America.’ ”
Gilles said that Chrysler’s great heritage of inventing segments will be its main focus and that regaining that philosophy will not be enough for the company to succeed.
“The problem is that every one of those vehicles were one-hit wonders,” he said. “We can’t do that anymore. The philosophy at Chrysler is to do every vehicle that way.” He said that Chrysler wants to get away from putting out “me too” vehicles that look like everything else on the market.
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Unread 2010-02-15, 10:38 AM   #123
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Dodge Subcompact Car Design Rendering Shown In Chicago



At the same Chicagop Economic Club event where he announced the Fiat 500 goes on sale stateside this year, Dodge Brand CEO Ralph Giles showed a concept rendering of a fierce new sorta-Hornet-like Dodge subcompact expected to drop in 2013.

The rendering shown above, and captured by Jill Ciminillo, doesn't have anything to do with the Fiat 500 going on sale later this year. The Chrysler game plan calls for a federalized Fiat 500 — if it does actually make it to market in 2010 as promised.

So what's this? According to Chrysler's Five-Year Plan, a B-segment "small car" is planned for 2013 based on a Fiat Group platform. If this drawing is a preview of said vehicle it means it'll be a hatchback, though it's not clear whether it'll be based on the Fiat 500 or a different/new platform.

We hope this shows up sooner than later because waiting three years for a Chrysler product feels a little like waiting for the next season of Firefly.
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Unread 2010-02-15, 03:53 PM   #124
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2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee to launch in Q2


After making its initial debut at the 2009 New York Auto Show, the all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee will finally hit dealer showrooms by the second quarter of this year. The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee will mark the first significant new product from the Chrysler group in several years.

Speaking with Automotive News, Jeep CEO Michael Manley revealed that the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee is on track for a second quarter market launch. Although no specific date was given, Manley says Chrysler is currently in final talks with dealers to determine exactly how the new Grand Cherokee should be packaged and priced.
While SUV demand has dropped off over that past few years, the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee represents an important new product for Chrysler. The Michigan-based automaker is sorely lacking new products, as reflected by the company’s 36 percent sales decline in 2009.
The Jeep brand is also hurting with sales sliding 31 percent last year. The new Grand Cherokee could reverse that trend, though, thanks to Chrysler’s new 3.6L Phoenix V6 and a refined chassis borrowed from the Mercedes-Benz ML.
Manley failed to reveal when the production 2011 Grand Cherokee would make its public debut, but the upcoming New York Auto Show looks like a sure bet.
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Unread 2010-02-16, 10:53 AM   #125
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Marchionne: Alfa Romeo to return to the U.S. by 2012



It seems like Sergio Marchionne has finally made up his mind on bringing the Alfa Romeo brand to the United States. According to a Chrysler Group spokesman, remarks made by CEO Marchionne in Toronto say that Alfa should be here by 2012.
“I’m a lot more confident now that Alfa Romeo will reconstitute a product offering that is acceptable globally, and more in particular in the United States and Canada,” Marchionne was quoted as saying Friday. “There is a strong likelihood that the brand will be back here within the next 24 months,” press reports said.
Alfa, which left the U.S. in 1995, was announced to make a comeback in 2003 as a part of an alliance between Fiat SpA and General Motors. However, plans were put on hold after the partnership dissolved, and subsequent statements from executives indicating that a return won’t bear fruit.
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