TORONTO (CP) -- Chrysler's top executive says the next Alfa Romeo sports car may be built in Brampton, Ont., if the project is launched this year.
Sergio Marchionne says he has instructed Alfa Romeo managers to redevelop its business case for the iconic car.
He noted, however, that although Alfa has a great brand and history, it remains "a drag" on resources at Fiat.
Marchionne said a decision would be made before the end of the year for the Brampton plant, which builds the Chrysler 300 sedan, Dodge Charger and Challenger sports cars.
Insiders say the Alfa car would need to generate sales of at least 10,000 to 15,000 annually in North America to become viable.
The Brampton plant could easily handle the extra production, since output of three cars it produces has dropped in recent years.
Last year, AutomotiveCompass, a U.S.-based research firm, said Fiat would move assembly of the Alfa Romeo 169 E-segment sedan to Brampton from an operation in Italy.
The firm also noted that its sources in Alfa and the parts industry indicated production of the niche vehicle would start in 2012.
Marchionne, who is trying to turn around Chrysler after Fiat became a partner last year, also confirmed that the company will be investing in the Brampton plant's aging paint operations.