The alliance between Fiat and Chrysler still has
just been finalized
and with the government’s deadline for restructuring
falling at the end of this month dealers understandably are nervous. Add a looming bankruptcy
to the mix and stress levels for most dealers will likely be going through the roof.
To settle tensions a little and offer some hope, Chrysler recently showed off several of its planned models at a special dealer presentation. Among the new models was the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee
, 2011 Chrysler 300 sedan
, as well as a compact sports sedan based on Fiat’s C-Evo platform.
On hand at the event was Chrysler’s design chief Ralph Gilles
who confirmed that the Chrysler version would use the Fiat chassis but will have unique exterior sheet metal. The C-Evo platform, incidentally, underpins the popular Fiat Bravo and it will also be used for the upcoming Alfa Romeo 149
The information, which was first reported by Bloomberg
, was acquired from a court filing issued by Chrysler. It revealed that the new sedan will be built in the U.S. but didn’t state which plant or under which brand the car will be sold. A previous bankruptcy filing also revealed that Chrysler’s agreement with Fiat includes four platforms and two engine and transmission combinations.
Chrysler doesn’t have a compact sedan in its lineup at the moment and has lacked one ever since the Dodge Neon was discontinued back in 2006. With consumers in the U.S. continuing to downsize to smaller vehicles, even with fuel prices back at the $2 per gallon mark, Chrysler needs to fill the gaping void in its lineup.
Chrysler, in its original viability plan submitted to the U.S. Treasury back in February, showed that it could expand its lineup for very little cost by borrowing several future Fiat models. The alliance will possibly see up to seven new Fiat and Alfa Romeo models
sold in the U.S., including some that will be produced in North America
for the first time.
2010 Alfa Romeo 149 rendering
Chrysler and Fiat viabilty plan
Alfa Romeo Milano spy shots