By Phil LeBeau, CNBC Correspondent
NEW YORK ( CNBC) -- After more than a year of quietly taking important steps to get Chrysler breathing again, CEO Sergio Marchionne is making it clear this is the year the company will take some big steps. Today in Italy, Marchionne said it's possible Fiat could increase its ownership stake of Chrysler to 51% this year. If it happens, it will mark yet another important milestone in the rebirth of Chrysler. I'm not sure people appreciate how close to death Chrysler was when the White House stepped in to bail it out. The reason many in the Obama administration wanted to kill it is because it was a money losing auto maker with a stale line-up and no pipeline.
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