"The Fiats are coming," is something we hear a lot these days. They are indeed headed this way, starting with the company's tiny, yet adorable, 500 subcompact followed by a few compacts that will likely bear the Chrysler badge. The last time Chrysler was considered a major player in the compact field was back in the day of the much-loved Neon. Since the Neon's departure in 2006, Chrysler has had little success in the segment. But all that could change if speculation turns out to be true and Fiat brings something like the Bravo here.
We keep hearing that the Fiat-based Chrysler compacts will be here sometime in 2012, kind of a long time away. But now there's hope that they may arrive sooner. According to Fiat chief executive officer Sergio Marchionne, who spoke with Automotive News, the compacts could hit the U.S. market before the close of 2011:
We've run extensive clinics on the first vehicles. We're 98 percent there on styling. My expectation today is we'll be able to get this car into the market Q4 2011. We continue to work pretty aggressively on timing.