2012 Fiat Freemont – Click above for high-res image gallery
Last week ,we told you that Fiat had plans to increase its stake in Chrysler within the next couple of weeks, and the automaker is apparently running ahead of schedule. The Detroit News reports that the Italian concern has officially purchased an additional five percent of the Auburn Hills, MI-based automaker, bringing the total to 30 percent. It's the second ownership increase for Fiat in 2011, as the automaker only announced that it was increasing its stake to 25 percent in January.
The second five percent comes after met a condition stipulating that Fiat sell a Chrysler product in 90 percent of dealerships in Brazil while also achieving $1.5 billion in revenue outside of North America. The automaker reportedly struggled to reach an agreement with dealers in Brazil to sell Chrysler-badged vehicles, so a second stipulation was rewritten to account for Chrysler vehicles re-badged as a Fiat. That vehicle is the Fiat Freemont shown above, which is essentially a Dodge Journey with a Fiat badge.
The Detroit News says Fiat likely won't hit its final bogey of achieving 35 percent ownership until the fourth quarter, when a Fiat-based Dodge hits the market. That vehicle will need to hit 40 miles per gallon in highway driving, which suggests the vehicle may be based on the Fiat 500.
[Source: The Detroit News]