Without any small-car offerings, Chrysler has an incomplete product lineup. Ditto for Lancia. But Fiat's other offspring lacks larger vehicles. Since Fiat controls both brands, it looks like a match made in heaven, right? Maybe, but not just for North America.

Fiat has announced that it will drop the Chrysler lineup in Europe and instead re-badge the Pentastar lineup as Lancias. The combination of Lancia and Chrysler leaves Fiat with too many European dealerships, so the Italian automaker also announced the cancellation of 350 Chrysler and Lancia dealer contracts beginning May, 2011. Chrysler and Lancia CEO Olivier Francois tells Automotive News that the plan is to create an "integrated network comprising about 800 dealers and over 1,000 dealerships." The only country in Europe that will continue to sell Chrysler products is the UK, where Lancias haven't been sold since 1991.

The next big challenge for the dealerships that make the cut is to increase floor space to make room for a new, larger model lineup. And if everything goes as plan (does it ever?) Chrysler/Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne is looking to increase Chrysler/Lancia sales in Europe from 132,500 vehicles in 2009 to over 300,000 units in 2014.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]

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