The alliance between Fiat and Chrysler will be working both ways. Chrysler models will also be shared with Fiat's Lancia brand and be sold under that badge in Europe.
The new platform-sharing project is part of a plan by Fiat to consolidate and shrink its Lancia and Chrysler dealer network in Europe by over 300 dealers from the current 1,200. As part of the alliance deal, Fiat owns the distribution rights for the Chrysler brand in Europe.
"Our plan is to have in place by May 2011 a Lancia/Chrysler integrated network comprising about 800 dealers and over 1,000 dealerships," said Olivier Francois, CEO for Chrysler and Lancia, in an e-mail interview with Automotive News Europe.
Chrysler models that will be sold in Europe under the Lancia marque include a new compact sedan, a mid-sized sedan which will be replacing the PT Cruiser and Sebring models, the 300C full-sized sedan and a new Voyager minivan.
The decision is part of Fiat's plan for a resurgent Lancia brand in Europe. Fiat has devised a strategic, five-year plan to sell 300,000 Lancia-Chrysler models per year in Europe by 2014. Last year, Fiat sold 132,500 Lancia's in Europe, the vast majority in the Italian market.