Fiat Splits in Two, May Up Stake in Chrysler to 51%
But says it has no plans to merge operations
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 3, 2011 9:32 AM CST
A 2011 Chrysler 200 is shown at the Chrysler Sterling Heights Assembly plant in Sterling Heights, Mich., Monday, Dec. 6, 2010.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

(Newser) – Fiat traded as two separate companies today, after spinning off its trucks and tractors units, which will henceforth be known as Fiat Industrial, from its passenger car business on Jan. 1. The move has been widely praised, and could lead to a tighter integration between Fiat and Chrysler, according to the New York Times. But Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne says the company doesn’t actually plan to merge operations with Chrysler just yet, the Wall Street Journal reports.

He did, however, dangle the possibility that Fiat could up its stake in Chrysler from its current 20% to 51%—which would require repaying the US government’s loans to the company, the AP notes. “I think it is possible, don’t know whether it is likely, but it is possible we go over the 50% if Chrysler decides” to return to the stock market in 2011, Marchionne said.