Fiat, Chrysler Talk Partnership

Deal could allow US firm quick access to small-car parts
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 19, 2009 1:39 PM CST
Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi smiles in front of a FIAT model in July.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Chrysler is in talks with Fiat to form a partnership that could boost the troubled automaker, Automotive News reports. In the deal, Fiat may offer Chrysler access to its platforms, engines, and transmissions for smaller cars, enabling Chrysler to quickly put out a new line of front-wheel-drive, low-emissions vehicles. Fiat could get a stake in Chrysler or money in exchange.

A deal could open Chrysler’s US manufacturing and distribution to the Italian company, which sells only Ferraris and Maseratis here and had been looking for a way in, Reuters adds. Chrysler sales dropped 30% last year, and the company received $4 billion in government loans this month with plans to ask for $3 billion more.