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Fiat Chrysler getting out of the (small) car business

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Fiat Chrysler is making some tweaks to its current five-year plan.  And some of those tweaks are pretty big. 

Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne says the company will double down on increasing its ability to churn out Jeeps and trucks.  In the U.S., he says the trend is clear.  

"There's been in our view a permanent shift towards UVs (utility vehicles) and pickup trucks," Marchionne told analysts during an earnings conference call.

Marchionne says the company plans to stop producing low-demand compact and midsize cars, so the Dodge Dart and the Chrysler 200's days are numbered. 

The factories that build the cars, in Sterling Heights, Michigan and Belividere, Illinois, will be retooled to build trucks.

Marchionne says there's a possibility the automaker might partner with another company to make small cars for Fiat Chrysler.

Marchionne also says Fiat Chrysler will, in fact, be able to meet stricter fuel economy regulations in the U.S. and other markets around the world, contrary to speculation by some analysts and journalists.

Other changes to the five-year plan include a much more limited rollout of Alfa Romeo, due to the slowdown in China, where Marchionne had hoped to sell most of the brand's new models.


Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Radio. She began her career at Michigan Radio as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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