Fiat to create Ram brand, rush new Chrysler models image

Fiat SpA will rush the first all-new Chrysler model to the U.S. market by the end of 2011 and create a new Ram brand for its truck line under a revival plan for Chrysler that will be shown to the U.S. government this week, people involved in the discussions said.

Italy’s Fiat, which assumed management control of Chrysler under a reorganization funded by the Obama administration, is scheduled to brief officials with the White House autos task force on plans to revamp Chrysler’s vehicle line-up.

Under the plan, Fiat will create a new Ram brand for what have been Dodge-branded trucks, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

In addition, Fiat will bring its first all-new Chrysler product out by the end of 2011, compressing the normal vehicle development plan, the sources said.

BERLIN - MAY 04:  Italiens car company Fiat CE...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

That will be in addition to the Fiat 500, a subcompact that Fiat plans to introduce to the U.S. market by late 2010. More new models will roll out in 2012, one of the sources said.

Chrysler and Fiat had no comment.

Chrysler’s nine-member board was briefed last week by Fiat Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne on the strategy for reviving the U.S. automaker’s vehicle line-up, according to a person with knowledge of the plans.

Many analysts, suppliers and other automotive executives say Chrysler desperately needs new vehicles after emerging from bankruptcy with $10 billion in U.S. government financing.

Source: Reuters