Sergio Marchionne at car launch

Fiat is well on its way toward owning 57 percent of Chrysler by the end of 2011, and CEO Sergio Marchionne appears to be ready to take the integration of the two companies to the next level. Bloomberg reports that Marchionne plans to unify the management structure of the two automakers, adding that a tie-up will happen "pretty quickly."

While Marchionne provided no timetable for such a move, one possible date to look out for is Fiat's July 26 earnings report. Marchionne's plan to unify management at the two automakers is the next step in a broader plan to reduce costs while contributing $140 billion in combined revenue by 2014. At this point, there are few products that are being shared between Fiat and Chrysler, though by 2014 there should be a lot more platform and powertrain commonality.

One unknown at this point is whether any top-level Chrysler or Fiat execs will be shown the door when the management unification plans become public. If the two companies are really going to combine, we're thinking that some overlap is likely to result in job cuts on both sides.