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Alfa Romeo And Jeep To Team Up At Italian Assembly Plant

Planned $1.4 billion investment follows news of $843 mil Chrysler investment in Indiana.

by on Nov.26, 2010

Marchionne planning to build Jeeps in Italy.

Chrysler and its Italian ally Fiat plan to team up in a European manufacturing venture that will expand the Jeep presence overseas.

Sergio Marchionne, who serves as CEO for both Chrysler and Fiat, says his company will invest $1.4 billion in the Mirafiori plant, in Turin, to permit the production of Jeep and Alfa-Romeo sport-utility vehicles.

The move could help Fiat achieve one of the critical benchmarks set by the Obama Administration as part of the Chrysler bailout last year.  Fiat currently holds a 20% stake in the long-troubled American maker.  Each of three key goals will boost that stake by 5%, including the requirement to boost Chrysler’s overseas sales.

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But expanding cooperation between Fiat and Chrysler is critical for both companies to achieve the necessary sales volumes and economies of scale that Marchionne believes are necessary to compete in today’s global auto industry.  The Fiat brand is making a comeback in the U.S., after a two-decade absence, with next month’s launch of its 500 microcar.


Chrysler May Build SUVs for Alfa-Romeo or Maserati

Maker continues integrating U.S. and Italian brands.

by on Nov.09, 2010

New versions of the Jeep Grand Cherokee could be developed for Maserati or Alfa-Romeo, says Chrysler/Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne.

Chrysler could wind up building a special sport utility vehicle for Maserati, using a Ferrari powertrain on the basic architecture of the latest-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee, which was itself completely redesigned for 2011.

Sergio Marchionne, Chrysler’s chief executive officer, threw open the doors to the possibility Chrysler could build a Maserati model during a conference call with reporters and analysts to discuss the U.S. maker’s third-quarter earnings report.  A Jeep-based Alfa-Romeo model was also offered up as a concept under consideration.

Chrysler lost $84 million in the third quarter and is paying steep interest costs but the numbers are otherwise moving in the right direction, Marchionne said, as he raised the guidance on the company’s operating profit for the full year. (For more on Chrysler earnings, Click Here.)

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Marchionne said the company also has to get serious about launching an initial public offering of stock, following cross-town rival General Motors, which expects to return to public trading later this month.

Such a move would likely come next year, said Marchionne, “Probably not in the first half of the year but definitely in the second half.”