WSJ: Fiat Aims To Close Chrysler Deal by Mid-Feb

MILAN (Reuters) – Italian carmaker Fiat SpA (FIA.MI) is still analysing Chrysler LLC for its intended alliance with the company but will conclude so Chrysler meets a Feb. 17 U.S. government deadline, Fiat’s CEO told the Wall Street Journal.

Under the terms of the federal loans Chrysler [CBS.UL] has received, it must present a plan by Feb. 17 showing how it intends to be viable. The Fiat accord is a key part of the effort.

Fiat Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne said the company was still analysing the vehicle production operations of Chrysler and then will turn to studying its finances, the newspaper said.

Marchionne said that while Fiat will not put any cash into Chrysler it will provide small cars and fuel-efficient engines that Chrysler needs and would cost Chrysler $3 billion or more to develop. (Reporting by Ian Simpson, editing by Will Waterman)