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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.”