Will we see a new line of Fiats in America in just 18 months? According to Chrysler vice chairman and president Tom LaSorda, the answer is "yes." Responding to reports that some analysts predict it will take upwards of three years before the first Fiat is (once again) sold in America, LaSorda said:
"We've done a lot of pre-work in terms of homologations and emissions. Eighteen months is practical. Three years is fundamentally wrong. We can do it faster."Of course, in light of Thursday's bankruptcy filing at Chrysler, perhaps a better question is whether we'll still see Chrysler vehicles in 18 months. Jim Press, another Chrysler VP, says the ailing automaker still plans to reduce the number of nameplates it currently sells and offer Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep dealers under one roof. It remains to be seen how Fiat fits in to the discussion, but CEO Sergio Marchionne says they are indeed coming.
So, what's up first? Hard to say, but LaSorda did suggest that the retrotastic Fiat 500 MINI-fighter is likely to be built somewhere in the United States, Canada or Mexico for sales in the U.S. market.