DETROIT -- Brimming with confidence after launching 16 new or revamped 2011 vehicles, CEO Sergio Marchionne served notice here last week that the Chrysler-Fiat alliance has more product surprises in store.
-- Coming in 2013 are a seven-seat Jeep Wagoneer luxury SUV and a hybrid version of the Chrysler 300 sedan.
-- Chrysler likely will drop one of its two minivans, the Dodge Grand Caravan or the Chrysler Town & Country. A people mover of some kind will replace the one dropped, Marchionne said.
-- Chrysler, long a laggard in fuel economy, hopes to catch the competition in part with eight- and nine-speed automatic transmissions.
In a frenetic auto show media blitz that included interviews and group discussions with about 250 journalists, Marchionne flouted the industry taboo that discourages executives from talking about future products. Still sporting his trademark sweater -- but 30 pounds lighter, thanks to a low-carb diet -- he spilled juicy details at every turn.
More important, Marchionne sought to convey a larger message: Chrysler is delivering on its promises and resurrecting itself as a viable automaker with a line of cars and trucks customers will buy because they're desirable, not because they're cheap.
"We are where we need to be in terms of the path to recovery," Marchionne said in a tone noticeably less combative than he sometimes has used.
Chrysler Group hit its 1.6 million unit global sales target in 2010 and is aiming for 2 million units this year, he said. A public stock offering is on Marchionne's agenda later this year.
Chrysler's five-year plan calls for annual global sales of 2.8 million units, up from 1.3 million in Chrysler's 2009 bankruptcy year, and $5 billion in global operating income by 2014.
Marchionne is pinning his recovery plan on regenerating Chrysler's once-moribund product portfolio. The company is more heavily dependent on gas-guzzling light trucks than any other carmaker.
Cars will take a much larger share of Chrysler Group global sales, Marchionne told analysts last week.
Chrysler will build a new generation of small and mid-sized vehicles, starting with a Dodge compact that will replace the current Caliber. It's scheduled to arrive late this year and will be followed by other cars in 2012 and 2013.
In a Detroit speech, Marchionne said: "We project that the micro through mid-size segments will go from the current 45 percent of Chrysler's annual sales volumes to 58 percent by 2014, with the weighting of large and full-sized vehicles declining from 55 percent to 42 percent over the same period."
But Chrysler plans to keep up the volley of new products in the larger segments. Among the future products Marchionne discussed for the first time in Detroit:
Jeep Grand Wagoneer: Jeep will resurrect a hallowed nameplate -- the Grand Wagoneer -- in two years. "It's time we gave the market an upper-scale Grand Wagoneer," he said. "You'll see it in January 2013."
The Grand Wagoneer would be a seven-seat SUV built on the same platform as the Grand Cherokee and the Dodge Durango. The Grand Wagoneer was once the most luxurious Jeep and enjoyed a devoted following among affluent customers.
Jeep pickup: A Wrangler-based utility vehicle with a pickup bed likely will join the Jeep lineup. "I would love to bring that vehicle to market," Marchionne said. Such a pickup might conflict with Chrysler Group's Ram truck brand. But it would sell outside North America, something Ram doesn't do.
Next-generation minivan/people mover: Chrysler likely will kill one of its two traditional minivans for the next generation, scheduled to arrive in 2014. Whichever brand does not get a minivan would get some kind of "people mover," perhaps without sliding doors, Marchionne said.
It's likely Dodge would keep the Grand Caravan minivan since it historically has outsold the Chrysler Town & Country in the United States, although the Town & Country was the segment champion in 2010.
Marchionne added that the Town & Country has refinement that Chrysler does not want to lose, whatever the new minivan lineup looks like.
Nitro-Liberty replacement: Marchionne said Chrysler is near a decision on the replacement for the lightly regarded Dodge Nitro and Jeep Liberty SUVs, built at the company's Toledo North Assembly plant in Ohio.
"It's the most significant hole in our product portfolio," said Marchionne, referring to the mid-sized SUV segment. The Nitro and Liberty, which trail segment leaders such as the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape in the United States, were among the few vehicles that were not revamped in the 2011 product offensive.
"Give us about 40 days" to make a decision, Marchionne said.
Eight- and nine-speed transmissions: Chrysler will use a nine-speed automatic transmission designed by ZF Friedrichshafen AG for front-drive vehicles. It could appear in key products, such as Chrysler's front-drive minivans. That transmission, due in 2013, will join a ZF eight-speed that will be used in some rear-drive vehicles, including the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger sedans.
"Chrysler's product revival is the most remarkable transformation in the shortest amount of time I have ever seen," said AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson.
For Marchionne, Chrysler's comeback is synonymous with new products. And last week, he was happy to talk about both.
Luca Ciferri and Jason Stein contributed to this report