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Chrysler, Lancia to integrate by year's end?

It's no secret that Fiat plans to eventually meld the Chrysler and Lancia brands, but the speed of that global integration might come as a shock to some. According to Chrysler/Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne, Chrysler and Lancia could essentially become globally integrated by the end of 2010.

Chrysler is well versed in the production of large cars while Lancia specializes in smaller vehicle offerings. Marchionne envisions the combination of those two varying lineups, thereby creating a more full-line automaker.

"In Europe, Lancia is an undersized, underdeveloped brand, with nothing bigger than the Delta," Marchionne told Autocar. "Chrysler, which has a true global reach, has nothing smaller. Put them together and you have a full line-up."

Marchionne says the two brands could "converge as early as the end of the year", aided by the fact that Fiat doesn't sell the Lancia brand in the United States. Lancia showed a Chrysler-badged Delta model at the Detroit Auto Show, but neither company has announced plans for U.S. availability.