Report: China-made Dodge-based compacts may be exported to Europe under the Fiat brand image

Fiat is considering exporting to Europe two compact cars built in China, according to a report from Automotive News Europe.

The cars will be based on the new Dodge Dart and will be built with Chinese partner Guangzhou Automobile at a new plant in the Hunan province. The first model to come will be a four-door sedan, which will be exported to eastern and northern Europe by 2013. A China-built Dart-based hatchback variant may also be lauched next year in southern Europe, according to a source with direct knowledge of the matter.

The cars will wear the Fiat badge and will have styling and interior tweaks in order to suit Fiat’s brand image. A Fiat spokesman confirmed that the company’s five-year plan includes the introduction of a new Fiat-branded compact hatchback and compact sedan. The hatchback could replace the slow-selling Bravo, which will be discontinued in 2013. The Italian factory in Cassino will replace the Bravo with a compact crossover in late 2013 or early 2014.

The China-built Fiat sedan will not replace the Turkey-made Linea model, as the Dart-based Fiat will be slightly larger. Fiat wants to build about 300,000 Fiat sedans and Jeep models a year by 2014 in China.