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Auto blogMon, 08 Jul 2013 11:05:00 EST
Fiat is one step closer to completing a merger with Chrysler after exercising an option to acquire an additional 3.3 percent of the Auburn Hills-based automaker today. Automotive News reports that Fiat now controls 68.49-percent of Chrysler, which is up almost 10 percent since we last heard news of this deal back in February when Fiat talking to various banks to raise more capital in order to complete the acquisition.
The article says that Fiat is still able to increase its stake in Chrysler up to 75 percent over the next 12 months, but it sounds like CEO Sergio Marchinonne would rather purchase the remaining shares from VEBA - the retiree benefits trust - sooner rather than later. Unfortunately, the two sides still seem far from an agreement on a fair price for the rest of Chrysler, as Fiat has them valued at $4.2 billion compared to the $10.3 billion estimate from the unions that currently own the remaining stake in Chrysler.
A preliminary configurator for the 2015 Chrysler 200 is already up and greeting Internet visitors. The totally re-envisioned sedan that we got to know in our Deep Dive starts with an LX base trim for $22,695, which comes out to an MSRP of $21,700 plus $995 for destination. That number will get you entry to a party that comes with keyless entry, ambient LED lighting inside, a five-inch Uconnect touschcreen system with Bluetooth, a six-speaker stereo, eight-way power driver's seat, safety features like brake assist and an electronic parking brake and eighteen-inch wheels on all-season tires.
The features list isn't yet broken down by model, but including destination, the other three trims retail for $24,250 for the Limited, $25,990 for the S and $26,990 for the C. All-wheel drive adds $4,200 on the S and the C.
You can build an LX pretty quickly because there aren't many options. There are two interior choices, black or black/linen, five exterior color options, and just two choices after that: you can opt for the $495 five-inch Uconnect system that adds features like voice command and a rearview mirror with a microphone, and an engine block heater for $95.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is hauling a multitude of modified models to the annual SEMA show in Las Vegas this November, and the company is releasing the first teasing sketches of many of them.
Unfortunately, FCA isn't giving many solid details on any of the concepts other than saying the vehicles from Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram and Fiat all benefit from tuning from its Mopar performance brand. The teaser photos include a sinister-looking Chrysler 200S, Fiat 500 Abarth with two-tone paint and a scorpion on the hood, a red and black 500L, seemingly two different takes on the Jeep Renegade, a green Dodge Challenger wearing the T/A badge, an orange and black Dart, a very neon Charger, just the outline of a red and black Viper, a Ram ProMaster in Mopar livery and a Ram pickup called the Outdoorsman.
Take a look through the gallery to see what you think of the sketches for these concepts, and scroll down for the full announcement from FCA.