01 January 2010

Chrysler to Display Electric FIAT 500 at Detroit

Chrysler Group LLC, the U.S. automaker run by Italy’s Fiat SpA, will debut a battery-powered version of the Fiat 500 subcompact at the Detroit auto show, as reported by Bloomberg.

Chrysler’s decision on whether to put the car into production is unknown, according to sources who declined to be identified, since such plans aren’t yet public. CEO Sergio Marchionne has said recently that the company plans to produce about 56,000 electric vehicles annually by 2014, and Chrysler may even base its initial model on the Fiat Doblo van, a small commercial vehicle popular in Europe.

A Chrysler model based on the conglomerate's Lancia Delta hatchback also will be displayed at next month’s show, three people familiar with the matter said last week. The cars signal how FIAT designs will be incorporated into Chrysler’s lineup, and now FIAT can market both it's upscale/sport Lancia cars (as Chryslers) and wonderful Alfa-Romeo cars in The States, greatly helping to defray the costs of expensive R&D in hugely competitive and technology-intensive market segments.
And supercars from Maserati and Ferrari will also be joining Chrysler on the stand for the first time since the merger... should be an interesting show, and you can read all about it right here.

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