Planet Gore

Fiat Expands Chrysler SUV Production to Italy

In defiance of President Obama’s attempt to force-feed America small, green fuel sippers, Americans have renewed their love affair with SUVs.

And in another slap in the face of the Green president, his handpicked Chrysler CEO for Educating Americans on the Glory of Compacts — Fiat’s Sergio Marchionne – announced last week that Fiat will now build Jeep and Alfa Romeo SUVs in Italy to feed the growing European truck market. Marchionne also confirmed that Chrysler’s Detroit plant will start building Maserati SUVs on the Jeep platform.

That is, the same company to which Obama gave 20 percent of Chrysler — for free — in return for building one 40-mpg car (the tiny Fiat 500) here in the states will now expand sport-ute production to two Fiat brands as well as expand U.S.-brand gas-guzzler production overseas.

“The carmaker plans to use U.S. ‘platforms’ and make as many as 280,000 vehicles a year at the (Italian) plant,” Automotive News reported. “New Jeep and Alfa models will be ready by the fourth quarter of 2012.”

Save the planet? Mr. Marchionne wants to SUV the planet.

Henry Payne — Henry Payne is the auto critic for the Detroit News.

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