Chrysler Group could bring several Fiat-based compact vehicles to the United States sooner than expected, CEO Sergio Marchionne said on a conference call on Monday.
Chrysler Group already builds the Dodge Caliber and the Jeep Compass and Patriot - three crossover vehicles, but the Fiat-based compacts would add a sedan to the mix.
Chrysler is also moving quickly to renovate its aging midsize sedans, the Chrysler Sebring and Dodge Avenger receiving significant updates this year. There will be "significant improvements" over the current cars.
"We have carried out significant surgery on the architecture of those cars and made significant improvements of the interiors," he said.
In the third quarter, new versions of the Jeep Wrangler and Patriot will debut, featuring improved interiors.
This week, Chrysler began building the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee at its Jefferson Avenue plant in Detroit.
"We've eliminated remaining issues about quality," Marchionne said. "We feel comfortable we've resolved all technical issues." The new Grand Cherokee "is the basis on which we'll try to rebuild the Jeep brand on a global scale. It is the symbol of Jeep."
Chrysler's recovery from bankruptcy still remains uncertain and Marchionne is speeding up the process of bringing new models to the marketplace to improve the company's chances of survival.
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