Speculation is rising concerning Fiat-Chrysler (FCA) CEO Sergio Marchionne's final strategic throw of the dice for the company ahead of his planned departure in 2019.

Reuters reports that the final strategic push from the mercurial chief entails betting the carmaker's future on Jeep SUVs and Maserati luxury cars while downsizing its volume brands.

Reuters, citing anonymous sources, said that under the plan, FCA could end the sale of Fiat cars in North America and China in the coming years, while mostly confining Chrysler to the US. The strategy is expected to be outlined at a presentation on Friday (June 1) in Turin.

Marchionne is set to retire next year and the presentation will be the last major event for him as CEO. His successor will be appointed by the company's next shareholder meeting in April 2019.

The report said the strategic direction calls for the expansion of Jeep and Ram and a possible combining of Alfa Romeo and Maserati into a single division.

Speculation is also sure to mount over parts of FCA that could be sold off or of possible strategic alliances with other OEMs. Marchionne has long been an advocate of bigger automotive groups able to leverage larger scale economies. His past unsuccessful overtures to some potential partners (eg GM) could mean that he will cast the net wider - eg to China - to secure a major strategic industrial partner for FCA before he leaves. That could complement the strength of niche brands, such as Jeep and Ram.

Last month FCA announced it is to develop and implement a plan to separate the Magneti Marelli parts business from FCA and to distribute shares of a new holding company for Magneti Marelli to the shareholders of FCA. The divestment of Magneti Marelli has long been trailed by FCA, which is looking to raise capital to shore up investment in its core car business.

The separation is expected to be completed by the end of 2018 or early 2019 and shares of Magneti Marelli are expected to be listed on the Milan stock exchange.

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