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Chrysler’s Makeover Aids Fiat as Profit Gap Widens to 87%: Cars

Sergio Marchionne had what he called a “once in a lifetime” moment in 2009 when President Barack Obama selected Fiat SpA to save Chrysler Group LLC. The head of both automakers may be having flashbacks as the tables turn.

The previously bankrupt U.S. company, which became majority owned by Fiat this year, is now shoring up its Turin, Italy-based parent, as the European debt crisis depresses sales. Chrysler is due to outpace Fiat’s operating profit by 87 percent in the second half and the gap will likely continue in 2012, according to a Bloomberg News survey of analysts.