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According to the latest reports, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta will serve as the basis for the Dodge Caliber's successor, and it's set to arrive in late 2011 as a 2012 model. USA Today credits Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Chrysler and Fiat, with the proclamation that some form of Giulietta will wind up as a Dodge. Considering last year's five-year plan that shows the Caliber discontinued after 2011, Chrysler will need something to fill its place in showrooms.

Refreshes will carry the venerable LX cars, and the Sebring has been transformed into the more promising 200, but those moves are mere stopgaps. Without a small car to sell against its domestic rivals, Chrysler and Dodge will be at a significant disadvantage. Fiat has expressed its desire to expand its stake in Chrysler beyond its 20 percent level, and the only way that's going to happen is if the automaker succeeds Stateside. Enthusiasts have looked longingly across the Atlantic at the Giulietta, and if the car connects as well with the public at large and carries the right blend of quality and verve, it could be a boon for Chrysler.

[Source: USA Today]

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