• Sep 17, 2009
Fiat is hard at work trying to come up with the best available use of its newly acquired Chrysler arm. Part of that plan may be to sell more Chrysler products in Europe, and Fiat just so happens to have an available factory to build them in. Automotive News is reporting that Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne says the company would use its freshly purchased Carrozzeria Bertone plant near Turin, Italy. Fiat purchased the facility in July, just a few weeks after Chrysler exited chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Marchionne declined to discuss which vehicles would be built at the factory, but those following the Italian automaker have plenty of reasonable guesses. AN quotes sources who say the facility could open as soon as late 2011, and it could build the next generation Chrysler 300. The upcoming new 300 will reportedly begin production in the US in early 2011, and the 300's RWD platform is rumored to be used in future Alfa and/or Lancia models. The sources also claim Jeep models could be built in other Fiat facilities by using complete knock down kits shipped from here in the US.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req'd | Photo: DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images]


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  • 20 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      You can put whatever badge you want and build them anywhere I guess.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes, you probably can. However speaking as a European I can only say: "What's a Chrysler?"
      • 5 Years Ago
      Build them here. Sell them here.

      That is the only logical scenario that will work in today's turbulent economy.
      So, Europe should build its own Chryslers, Dodges and Jeeps; whilst America should add US manufactured Alfa Romeos and FIATs to its Chrysler/Dodge dealerships.

      Marchionne is still targetting his growth plans for Chrysler that require sales of 11 million vehicles annually. Dump that kind of thinking! Chrysler should be manufacturing and selling 1.8 - 2.0 million vehicles in America irregardless!

      That means Chrysler needs about 1800 dealers to cover the projected sales adequately.

      Therefore, Chrysler would only need 6 auto assembly plants in America to fulfill that goal:

      1. BRAMPTON should be reconfigured to produce Alfa Romeos for Chrysler.
      2. WINDSOR should continue manufacturing Dodge Caravan and add Dodge Journey to the schedule as well to maximize plant capabilities. Durango should be axed in favor of the new Jeep Cherokee.
      3. WARREN should continue manufacturing the Dodge Ram and Dodge Dakota.
      4. JEFFERSON should take on the Jeep Liberty, Cherokee, and Wrangler. Dump the Compass and Patriot (they are not real Jeeps and tend to dilute the brand).
      5. BELLEVUE should gear up for Dodge Panda and Dodge Ducato vans.
      6. STERLING HEIGHTS should set up shop to build Dodge Punto, Dodge Bravo and Dodge Linea.

      MEXICO is still in the game to produce the FIAT 500 as well.

      This program gives Chrysler a whole new lease on life, and it should be able to sell 1.8 million vehicles annually quite easily.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I thought this was to build the 300 replacement for the European market since their contract with Magna was ready to expire and since Magna would be tied to Opel. 300's for the NA market would still be built in Canada.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Is Chrysler still building Magnums in Europe? One of the frauleins (the beautiful black woman) pictured today is clearly standing with a Magnum:

      http://www.autoblog.com/gallery/frankfurt-2009-the-frauleins-of-frankfurt/#21
        • 5 Years Ago
        Its pretty much a Magnum, but over there its a Magnum body with a 300C front end and interior....
        • 5 Years Ago
        That's not a Magnum, it is a 300C Touring.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Thank you for the $$$$$$$ America. We will take it and make our cars in Italy and ship to you. We will also close our American plants cuz we don't need them. Do you have any other companies that you want us to take over and rape.
      Thanks again stupid americans
        • 5 Years Ago
        Remind us all where the 300 is produced now genius?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think you are confusing the Germans with the Italians...
      • 5 Years Ago
      So, we spent billions in taxpayer dollars to bailout Chrysler so they could create jobs in Italy?

      Again, the term "domestic" is totally meaningless.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Remember, it's too expensive to build moderate price cars in Europe and sell them in the US and Canada. Sure Mercedes can do it when they charge $50,000 for a car, but even they are building some vehicles in Alabama.

        Well, the same applies in the other direction. You can't build a 300 here and then sell it in Europe and make a profit. To keep the cost down they have to build them there. As long as the plant in Italy is making 300's for European consumption I don't see a problem with it. I would expect that they would make FIATs here in America to be sold here as well.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Bull. He has all kinds of control, he is the head of the federal government and the federal government OWNS GM. Of course he's not going to come out publically and say it, but I'm sure, being the Chicago ACORN-trained thug he is, that he and his minions have (sometimes literally) twisted a few arms to appease the green weenies in the left wing of his party like Pelosi and Bawney Fwank. Goodbye Escalade, goodbye G8, hello Volt!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I saw a fiat 500 and some other four door fiat(that was quite fugly) driving down phoenixville pa about a month ago. Are they testing them over here?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Fiat still make really cute small cars: http://www.madwhips.com/fiat/
      • 5 Years Ago
      Could work, this isn't the first time there was a Chrysler built in Italy, anyone remember the TC?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I just got back from a vacation in Brazil and Argentina as part of an MBA trip. One of the companies we visited was Fiat Brazil, but they did not know much about the Chrysler operations and what vehicles were going to the US (or at least they didn't tell us).

      In Buenos Aires, I saw a 300C Touring and I was digging it. It looks so much better than the Magnum.

      I rented a Fiat Doblo minivan in Brazil and it was interesting to see how they strip the cars and put in cheaper components and solutions to lower the cost. For example, the car had a central locking system that locked/unlocked all doors at once with no options to only unlock 1 door. The doors did not have separate lock switches and posts, instead you push in the door lever past a detent to lock the doors. No airbags, no armrests, only 2 speakers in the front, and no CD player. It ran on alcohol, which is available everywhere in Brazil.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The part about locking is actually quite common, in places where car jackings are a non-issue, people are annoyed by having to push twice to open all the doors. I quite like the push-past-detent manual locking, better than the asian "push away red" design. My own car has no manual interior locks, only electronic, and I cant say I miss manual locks.
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