Although the folks in Auburn Hills may be planning for a “quiet” presence at the 2010 Detroit auto show, recent reports suggest the automaker may showcase two Fiat-derived vehicles on its show stand.
According to Automotive News, the two vehicles are reported to be an electric version of the retro-chic Fiat 500, along with a Lancia Delta hatchback wearing a Chrysler grille. The report suggests Chrysler has no “immediate” plans to offer either car in the U.S., but both — especially the former — hint at the future of the partnership with Fiat.
We’ve known that the 500 will be sold through Chrysler dealers in the U.S. for some time now, but the presence of an electrified version may signal Chrysler’s involvement in Fiat’s electric vehicle development. Previous reports suggested Chrysler’s ENVI vehicles (first seen at the 2009 Los Angeles auto show) were scuttled, but that its engineers were likely to help in designing other electric cars, including a 500.
The Chrysler-badged Delta also signals a change we’ve heard about for Chrysler’s position in Europe. Reports have indicated that Chrysler and Lancia would merge (they already share CEO Olivier Francois), and that Lancia models in Europe could eventually be sold as Chryslers in the near future.
Additionally, Chrysler’s product plan does call for a Fiat-based B-segment car in 2013. Technically, the C-segment Delta is a little larger, but it would serve as a good way to test the waters for a Chrysler small car.
Source: Automotive News