Fiat Chrysler Automobile N.V. (FCAU) - Get Report shares were up slightly in premarket trading after CEO Sergio Marchionne reversed course and announced that the company's premier Maserati brand would begin producing an electric engine model starting in 2019. 

By the next decade, Marchionne said that half of the brand's vehicles will be electric. 

The new comments represent a reversal for Marchionne, who in the past has mocked the demand for electric vehicles, even taking aim at the company's lone existing EV, the Fiat 500e, as a perennial money-loser. 

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