Chrysler and Fiat rolling hand in hand

April 19, 2010 at 7:14 PM
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AUBURN HILLS, Mich., April 19 (UPI) -- U.S. automaker Chrysler Group will likely build 400,000 Fiat brand cars a year in North America, the Detroit Free Press reported Monday.

The Free Press did not name a source, but said Fiat's five-year plan is scheduled to be released Wednesday.

Among the developments the newspaper called probable, Chrysler and Fiat's Lancia model lines are expected to merge into one global brand.

Overall, the company's plan to more than double sales from 1.3 million in 2009 to 2.8 million by 2013 hinges on Fiat and Chrysler merging the three critical components of engineering, production and sales, the newspaper said.

Industry analyst Jim Hall of 1953 Analytics said, "Fiat is providing the seed for a lot of Chrysler Group vehicles, and a lot of Chrysler vehicles will help Fiat around the world."

Fiat took ownership of 20 percent of Chrysler as the U.S. company emerged from bankruptcy last summer, but control of the firm was handed over to Fiat's Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne.

The Free Press said Chrysler would produce the larger vehicles -- pickup trucks, minivans, large crossovers -- for both Chrysler and Fiat. Fiat, in turn, would produce compacts, subcompacts and smaller crossovers.

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