DETROIT — Chrysler was collapsing when Fiat took control of the company just 19 months ago.

Now, under the Italian automaker’s detail-driven CEO, Chrysler is on the verge of turning its first quarterly profit since its bankruptcy in 2009.

Chrysler Group LLC on Monday said it dramatically narrowed its losses in the fourth quarter and 2010. And it predicted net income of $200 million to $500 million for 2011.

Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne has transformed Chrysler by managing its smallest details, even picking the music for company presentations.

As a result, Chrysler’s vehicles are starting to look and drive better and its costs are under control.

Marchionne, 58, a Canada-educated Italian who quickly replaces executives who don’t deliver, has brought back the speed and drive that Chrysler once had. He pushed engineers and designers to bring out 16 new or revamped models in the past year, including 11 in the fourth quarter alone.

Last year at this time, many Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep dealers were wondering if they’d even make it through the year. Sales were down and there were few new products on their lots. The company needed a $12.5 billion bailout from the government to survive in 2009. For years, it piled up debt and produced few hit cars.

Carl Galeana, who runs dealerships in suburban Detroit, Florida and South Carolina, is impressed with the turnaround that Marchionne engineered: “I think this guy is a visionary. He talks about what he needs to do and he goes out and gets it done.”

Of the 16 new or revamped models, five were rebuilt from the ground up in under two years, far faster than the normal three or four years. They include the 300 big sedan, the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango SUVs, Dodge Charger muscle car and the Fiat 500 minicar.

Marchionne allowed engineers to make big changes, even if they added costs.

Engineers were encouraged to make a case for new technology or designs, something that didn’t happen under Chrysler’s previous owners. As a result, the revamped Chrysler 200 midsize car has new features such as LED headlights and a quieter engine mounting system, a big improvement in quality that its predecessor, the Chrysler Sebring, didn’t have.