Bad news travels fast. That old adage was first coined hundreds of years before the Internet, and we'd say the phrase holds more true than ever in the age of Twitter, Facebook and, well, Autoblog. We're but one of many car sites that have mentioned the dearth of new product coming out of Auburn Hills, Michigan over the next couple years, but someone forgot to tell Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne. The Pentastar's new chief executive reportedly told reporters in Frankfurt this week that he was "surprised" at how little was going on over at Chrysler the past 24 months. Surprised? Really? Did Marchionne actually ask Chrysler brass which new products were hitting the streets in 2010 and 2011?

As a result of the dearth of product, Marchionne and his team are going back to work on Chrysler's business plan, with a new plan to be announced sometime in November. Marchionne told Automotive News that the management team had to be "absolutely clear about what we want to do with Chrysler and where the organization is going to be in five years."

Car Concepts Automotive analyst Todd Turner told CNN that he too had a hard time believing that Marchionne was blissfully unaware of Chrysler's plight, adding that Marchionne is using the extra time to announce drastic actions to right the Pentastar ship. Turner went as far as to say that Chrysler could pull the plug on the slow-selling Chrysler brand all together within the next five years or perhaps simply rebadge Fiat models as Chrysler products. That would leave Fiat's Detroit operations with the Dodge and Jeep brands.

Chrysler's newest beast master paid precisely zero dollars (or Euros or Lira or gold cougerans) for its pet project, and Marchionne reiterated that Fiat intended to keep it that way. Marchionne added that he didn't plan any outside investments for Chrysler but added that if total sales in the U.S. market don't hit about 11 million units in 2010, Chrysler may have to close more plants. We're just hoping Chrysler can make it through the next couple of years to actually get to the point where it is selling rebadged Fiats.

[Source: CNN Money | Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty]

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