Marchionne: Dodge will be first brand to use Fiat platform

It's official -- the Dodge brand will be the first Chrysler division to use a Fiat platform.

Sergio Marchionne - the CEO of both Fiat and Chrysler - announced on Thursday that Dodge brand will be the first Chrysler division to use a Fiat-sourced platform. The Fiat-based Dodge will take the form of a compact sedan.

Set to debut by the end 2011, the new sedan will be built in the United States. The yet-to-be-named Dodge model will rival vehicles like the Ford Focus and Chevrolet Cruze compact sedans.

"The new architecture, which debuted (in Europe) with the Alfa Romeo Giulietta (compact hatchback), is the most advanced mass-produced car Fiat has ever had, and at Chrysler, Dodge will use it first," Marchionne said. He added that Dodge will offer a high-efficiency version of the sedan that will achieve at least 40mpg.

It is expected that the new Dodge model will eventually replace the Caliber hatchback, but the Caliber will continue production until mid-2012. No word if Dodge will offer a hatchback version of the compact sedan.

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