TURIN, ITALY-After nailing buff magazines’ person-of-the-year award, Sergio Marchionne is taking the lid off new expansion strategies for Chrysler/Fiat.
Most of these will be unveiled at the Detroit auto show in early January.
At age 60, Marchionne is acquiring the aura of the dynamic carczar Lee Iacocca, who at 88 is retired in California and still keeps an eye on the leadership of Italian-born and Canada-educated Sergio.
Sergio is embarking on a lineup expansion program which will be crystal clear in the showroom. The subcompact field will be entered by the Chrysler 100, to be closely followed by a pair of ‘dream’ cars from upscale brand Alfa Romeo-the 4C sports coupe and the Giulia sports sedan. Not to mention the fast-growing Fiat 500 minicompact, turned into a “must have” with the Abarth sports package whose turbo makes the classic 500 a racer bar none.
Fiat dealers who built new stores are ending their profitless launch of the 500 as sales spike from 20,000 in 2011 to nearly 40,000 in 2012. Could 50,000 be topped by Sergio in 2013? Why not! Dealers taking the Fiat 500 plunge are happy campers indeed!