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Fiat Bets on Italian Elegance to Challenge Nissan’s Leaf: Cars

Fiat SpA Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne is no champion of electric vehicles. So even if he must produce one to appease California regulators, he won’t mess with an Italian icon.

After returning to the U.S. with its 500 subcompact in 2010, Fiat plans to introduce an electric version at the Los Angeles Auto Show today. Chrysler Group LLC, majority owned by Fiat, will begin selling the battery-powered 500e next year.