Rumor mill: Chrysler could be killed on Friday

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One of Detroit's Big Three could be on the chopping block, or at least one of its flagship brands.

That's according to the latest in the automotive news rumor mill, which suggests that Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne could be planning to kill Chrysler. On Wednesday, Automotive News reporter Larry P. Vellequette wrote that "a source told a European colleague" that Marchionne would announce the end of Chrysler in a speech to investors in Italy on Friday.

If true, it would mark the end of a 93-year-old nameplate that was founded in Detroit.

Of course, the rumor is unconfirmed. It would be odd for Fiat-Chrysler to kill a brand that is one-half of its name, though as evidence Vellequette notes that Marchionne has offered scant details on the future of the Chrysler brand in recent years. Chrysler is one of the company's weakest brands, consisting of just three models — the Chrysler 300 and the Pacifica minivan (along with an electric hybrid version). Axing Chrysler would also allow FCA to invest more in Jeep, the company's biggest money-maker.

Marchionne was appointed CEO in 2009, shortly after Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy. Chrysler and the Italian company Fiat were merged under his watch. Marchionne is set to retire from FCA next year.

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About The Author

Lee DeVito

Leyland "Lee" DeVito grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, where he read Metro Times religiously due to teenaged-induced boredom. He became a contributing writer for Metro Times in 2009, and Editor in Chief in 2016. In addition to writing, he also supplies occasional illustrations. His writing has been published...
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