FIAT and new partner Chrysler are set to roll out seven new vehicles from Chrysler's assembly lines to the North American market. Four of these will be under the Chrysler range, and the other three will be coming from FIAT and/or their upscale Alfa Romeo line.
The new vehicles will be retailed in North America through the existing dealership network of Dodge, Chrysler, and Jeep. The cars form part of the product sharing deal between the two car manufacturers that was announced on Friday. FIAT platforms will be used for models from a microcar up to a mid-sized vehicle.
The companies have not disclosed any information about the schedule or volume of production of these cars. They are set to reveal more detailed plans soon.
The Fiat 500 minicar is set for assembly at the Chrysler plant in Toluca, Mexico. The factory will be retooled to make other vehicles like the Dodge Journey and others vehicle when it finally ends production of the PT Cruiser, as planned.
Chrysler will benefit much as it gains the Fiat platform for small cars, as they will infuse their product line with the small cars that can meet the new demand of the US market and pending stricter fuel standards. The Fiat 500, plus another vehicle based upon it -but wearing a Dodge or Chrysler emblem- are in the plans. The Fiat 500 itself is set to enter the US market by 2012.
Fiat is also considering the introduction to America of their outstanding diesel engines. The Fiat 500 with diesel just won yet another award for their buldging trophy-case. It's a fun, clean, quiet, and quick package that gets almost 55mpg in combined city/freeway driving. Fiat currently sells diesel models in Europe -such as the Fiat Panda- that actually get as much as 75mpg on the freeway.