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Fiat Looks to Maseratis, Jeeps, and the Cute Little 500 for a Jump-Start

Fiat 500s on the production line at Chrysler's assembly plant in Toluca, Mexico, on Nov. 8
Fiat 500s on the production line at Chrysler's assembly plant in Toluca, Mexico, on Nov. 8Photograph by Susana Gonzalez/Bloomberg

Sergio Marchionne brought the peppy little Fiat 500 to the U.S. as part of a high-stakes bid to rescue Chrysler. Now Marchionne, the chief executive of both Fiat and Chrysler, is preparing to make another big gamble.

He’s set to invest as much as €9 billion ($12.3 billion) on an overhaul of Fiat’s European operations, Bloomberg News reports, citing people familiar with the matter. The plan calls for expanding Fiat’s high-end lineup of Alfa Romeo, Maserati, and Jeep vehicles—and manufacturing them in Italy in hopes of trading on the cachet of Italian design and craftsmanship.