Click above for high-res image gallery of the Dodge Hornet concept

Fiat's tentative global alliance with Chrysler should have the desired effect of bolstering the American automaker's nonexistent small car line and give Fiat access to a nationwide network of dealerships in the United States. Don't forget, however, that Nissan also has a deal in place with Chrysler that predates its tie-up with Fiat, and the Japanese automaker fully expects to make good on the arrangement that would provide Chrysler with two small cars developed by Nissan in exchange for one full-size Ram-based truck to replace the aging Titan. The first vehicle to spawn from this alliance is the Dodge Trazo C1.8 sedan, a carbon copy of the Nissan Versa (known as the Tiida in some other parts of the world) and sold in South America.

Before Fiat was ever considered (at least publicly) as a partner, it was assumed after initial negotiations with China's Chery failed to pan out that the second vehicle Nissan would develop would be at least partially inspired by the Dodge Hornet first seen in concept form back in 2006. Since the arrangement with Nissan was announced back in April of 2008, it's probably safe to assume that development work on the protracted small car project for Dodge is already underway and will conclude as planned. Whether or not any fruit of Chrysler's partnership with Nissan will be sold in the U.S. or just South American markets is unknown, as Fiat has plenty of small cars that could be built, badged with a Pentastar and sold in on American soil.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]

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