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 |  Oct 06 2009, 12:51 PM


Yesterday Chrysler’s new owners at Fiat announced that the Chrysler brand would now be under the stewardship of Lancia brand head Olivier Francois. Today it is more evident why, as both Chrysler and Lancia will share product platforms in the future.

The alliance will see Lancia get a redesigned version of the 300C as a new flagship, replacing the unattractive Thesis (pictured above). Chrysler’s first Lancia-based product is likely to be a small premium hatchback. The Lancia brand is also scheduled to get a version of whatever the Chrysler/Fiat alliance can dream up to replace the Sebring.

So far, it looks like Fiat is likely to benefit more from this relationship than Chrysler, although we’re not sure if you can classify hand-me-down Chrysler products as a good thing. Still, the 300C is one of the best things to come out of Chrysler in recent history and its easy to see why Lancia wants it.

Fiat has declared that it wants to make Chrysler a brand that can take on Cadillac, meaning that Francois certainly has his work cut out for him. Francois has, however, proven to be quite good at changing perceptions, having restored faith in one-struggling Lancia brand.

[Source: Automotive News via LeftLaneNews]

 |  Oct 05 2009, 11:23 AM


After several rumors and reports, Chrysler has now confirmed that the Dodge Ram will be spun off into its own brand with the appointment of two individuals. Fred Diaz Jr., formerly Director of the Denver Business Center, will now head up the RAM brand, while Ralph Gilles will take over at the helm of the car brand. Gilles will also continue to run the product design department at Chrysler Group.

“The brand-focused strategy has been refined further with the unbundling of the Dodge Brand which now consists of the Dodge RAM Brand and the Dodge Car Brand organizations,” said Chrysler and Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne. “This reorganization will allow us to protect and develop the unique nature of the product offerings within the Dodge Brand.”

Within this new corporate structure, Marchionne also appointed a new Chrysler brand CEO; Olivier Francois, who comes from Fiat’s Lancia Brand and will continue in his position there as well.

Official release after the jump:

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