The timeline for Chrysler's IPO is gradually coming into focus. Four months ago Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said he expected to Chrysler's offering to happen "probably" in 2011. Now he's narrowed that down to becoming "a second-part-of-the-year event."

The timing makes all kinds of sense: not only does Marchionne not expect a profit this year, the results of Fiat's integration with Chrysler won't begin to bear fruit until the middle of next year, after the 500 has gone on sale and had a few months to find its feet. By then, the company might also have some better news to report about 2011's finances. Frankly, we wouldn't be surprised if it didn't happen until early 2012. And speaking of the 500, when it starts rolling in, Fiat will be able to claim another five percent of Chrysler, taking its stake to 35 percent.

[Source: Automotive News – Sub. Req. | Image: Massimo Pinca/Getty]