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Fiat will launch Caliber-based vehicles in China, Russia

by Bill Cawthon on

Automotive News is reporting that Fiat SpA will create a new vehicle based on the next-generation Dodge Caliber for the Chinese and Russian markets.

The Chinese market vehicle will be produced in a new plant that will open in July 2012 in the Changsha Economic Zone in Hunan Province. The new venture is in cooperation with Guangzhou Automobile Group.

Fiat is looking for sites and potential partners for Russian production after earlier plans to partner with Sollers fell though.

In addition to the Caliber-based vehicle, Fiat plans a larger sedan, based on the next Dodge Avenger, due to make its debut in the 2013 model year.

Both the next-generation Caliber and Avenger will use Fiat’s new Compact Wide architecture that was introduced last year underpinning the Alfa Romeo Giulietta.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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