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Wednesday marked the big unveiling of Chrysler's five-year recovery plan and while there has been a lot speculation about the company's new strategy, we can now reveal that CEO Sergio Marchionne is planning to phase out most Chrysler brands outside North America.
The sole exception? Jeep, which will instead receive a boost to its international marketing budget, especially in emerging markets like Brazil. Chrysler vehicles will appear on distant shores, but only as part of the shared technology underpinning other brands like Lancia and Alfa Romeo.
Company bosses have revealed that Chrysler will disappear completely from European car markets in 2011, while Dodge will have a very niche role.
Some of the cars will remain, however. For example, the Chrysler 300 and Voyager will remain but be rebadged as Lancias, replacing the Lancia Thesis and Phaedra, respectively.
Lancia will also sell a version of the next-generation Sebring saloon, effectively replacing the Lybra, which went off sale in 2006. Lancia will also get a version of Chrysler’s upcoming medium-size crossover.
Additionally, Dodge models will be rebadged as Fiats, with the Journey crossover set to replace the Ulysse.
[Automotive News, sub req’d]