2003 Chrysler PT CruiserEnlarge Photo
Yesterday the Free Press confirmed that that Chrysler/Fiat marriage might result in seven new vehicles for North America. A Free Press source close to the negotiations said that four vehicles would be sold under Pentastar brands and the remaining three would be sold as Fiats or Alfa Romeos.
Four Fiat platforms would be used for the vehicles, ranging from Fiat's smallest, the A platform, to Fiat's midsize D platform. Another individual familiar with the merger said that the Toluca, Mexico Chrysler plant currently producing the Chrysler P.T. Cruiser, to be phased out this year, is a likely location for production of new Fiat/Chrysler autos.
2008 Fiat 500Enlarge Photo
The deal between the two companies, which would give both access to each other's plants and dealer networks, is expected to be finalized in April.
Promise of fresh, viable small car product has Chrysler dealers thrilled; happy, too, are industry analysts who feel the deal could quickly restore Chrysler to viability in the small car arena. Legislators, however, are wary of Chrysler using federal bailout money for day-to-day operations if Fiat moves in to take a majority stake. Under the terms of last week's non-binding agreement, Fiat will take a 35 percent stake in Chrysler; Fiat's ownership, however, could ultimately rise as high as 55 percent.
[source: Detroit Free Press]