You know that silly annual survey of which cars are “Most American?” Well, scratch off Chrysler from the list.
Reuters confirms what has long been speculated by the press: that Fiat will be building U.S. brand cars in Italy, which will then be exported to the States. With Europe in the midst of its own recession and economic crisis (just Google “EU and Greece”), Fiat has good reason for such a strategy.
“We can and we must think of the car sector in Italy in a different way, refocus it, so that it becomes an important production center for exports outside Europe,” said Sergio Marchionne, head of both Fiat and Chrysler. “In our case, that means above all the United States.”
Fiat has not stated which Chrysler vehicles it will have built in Italy. Speculation is they’ll most likely be Chrysler and Jeep vehicles. Fiat already supplies the chassis for the all-new Dodge Dart. We’ve driven the Dart, and found it to be quite attractive, with great gas mileage. We’ve also tested the Fiat 500 Abarth, the lone Fiat-branded vehicle in the U.S. The upcoming Jeep Compass/Patriot replacement is also speculated to be based on Fiat’s Alfa brand.
Fiat has over 61-percent stake in Chrysler.
Automotive.com’s take: We have some reservations on Fiat building U.S. cars for the U.S. marketplace. Thus, we’re taking a “wait and see” attitude like the rest of the press until we get more details.