TURIN, Italy -- Fiat wants to turn Chrysler into a much more brand-driven company by organizing key management functions around the Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep makes and putting executives in charge of each one.
Fiat insiders also say they want to see greater product differentiation among the three brands.
That's how the Italian company does it, and some version of Fiat's system would work for Chrysler, said two senior executives who spoke on condition of anonymity.
"We were surprised to find a vertical organization at Chrysler where, under the head of every function, there is not a direct report in charge of that function for every brand," a source said.
Still, it is unclear how far Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne will push Chrysler toward imitating the brand-based organization he installed at Fiat Group Automobiles five years ago.
"Possibly, the new Chrysler would be a more brand-oriented, flat organization," said another source, "but not yet run as a holding of brands managed as virtual operating companies, like Fiat Group Automobiles."
Fiat Group Automobiles encompasses the Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Lancia and Fiat Professional light commercial vehicle brands, plus the Abarth sports car brand.