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It’s Chrysler’s Turn to Save Fiat

Increasingly healthy, Amerian automaker offsets mounting losses in Europe.

by on Nov.16, 2012

Reporters catch the speech by Fiat/Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne at the Mack Engine Plant.

Chrysler Group LLC operations in the U.S. are profitable enough to support Fiat indefinitely during the unfolding European economic crunch, according to Sergio Marchonne, who serves as chief executive officer of both companies.

Fiat is sitting on more than $12 billion in cash, and “It has more resources in its industrial business,” Marchionne told reporters after announcing plans to invest $240 million as Chrysler creates 1,250 new job in the Detroit area over the next year by adding a third crew at its truck assembly plant in the suburb of Warren, and brings an engine plant in Detroit back online.

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Chrysler has rapidly expanded its operations – reviving several abandoned plants and adding thousands of new jobs – since Fiat effectively took control following the U.S. maker’s bankruptcy in 2009.  Now, it appears to be returning the favor as Fiat’s losses mount in the wake of the worst economic crisis Europe has faced in decades.

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Chrysler Struggling To Update Line-up, Resolve Quality Issues

Maker to spend nearly $2 billion at three key plants.

by on Oct.29, 2010

Chrysler is investing $1 billion in Sterling Heights to produce future midsize models, like the 200. The plant was originally set to close in 2012.

It’s been a busy – and costly – week for Chrysler, which has announced nearly $2 billion in investments aimed at updating an admittedly outdated and problem-plagued line-up.

Among the two key spending programs announced in recent days is a $600 million investment in an under-utilized assembly plant in Belvidere, Illinois, where Chrysler is expected to begin producing a new small car late next year.  Based on the little Alfa-Romeo Giulietta produced by its Italian affiliate, Fiat Automotive, the new offering is expected to get 40 miles per gallon. (New small car will permit Fiat to up its stake in Chrysler; Click Here for more.)

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The automaker has been releasing a series of updates on its revised product line-up, in recent days, with models like the Dodge Avenger and various Chrysler minivans getting some interior tweaks and additional technologies designed to enhance their appeal.  But the new investments only underscore that the real breakthrough promised by Sergio Marchionne, CEO of both Chrysler and Fiat, is still just in the making.

Not that it would come a moment too soon, as Consumer Reports made clear this week.

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