Now four months out of bankruptcy, Chrysler is set to unveil a new business plan that relies heavily on models from Fiat, its Italian partner, and abandons many American cars. The company will reintroduce the luxury Alfa Romeo to the US and also bring in a Mexican-built Fiat 500, the tiny vehicle ubiquitous in Europe. Several Dodge and Jeep models will be discontinued.
The new lineup, spearheaded by new Italian CEO Sergio Marchionne, maintains the US brand's muscle cars and pickups while introducing European-style automobiles targeting white-collar customers. But the new cars won't be on the road until 2012, notes the Wall Street Journal, and Marchionne's greater challenge may be keeping Chrysler afloat until then. "They are going to have a hard time maintaining market share, let alone increasing it," says one auto analyst.