By on October 27, 2009

Sergio presents: The Future (courtesy: DetN)

Chrysler’s five-year product and business plan won’t be officially announced until next Wednesday, but the leaks have begun already. The Wall Street Journal was so curious about Chrysler’s product plan, they were able to squeeze a few broad strokes out of “people briefed on the plans.”

Next year, Chrysler’s new 300/Charger and Grand Cherokee/Durango will hit the market (unless they don’t). The Jeep Commander will celebrate by going to the big Rubicon Trail in the sky.

“By 2012,” a host of Chrysler’s worst products will be canceled. Chrysler PT Cruiser and  Sebring are headed for the exits, while Jeep Compass and Patriot will join the Commander in the afterlife. Dodge will be slimmed way down as well, losing Avenger, Caliber, Nitro and (by 2015) the Grand Caravan.

Italian products will arrive being arriving in 2011 with the Fiat 500. Alfa Romeo products are scheduled to roll out in 2012, and will include “the MiTo subcompact, followed by a midsize sedan in early 2013 and the Alfa Milano midsize model.” Chrysler will bring out its own midsize and compact models based on Fiat platforms in 2012, replacing the Sebring/Avenger and Caliber/Compass. A compact Jeep (likely based on Fiat’s Panda 4×4) will follow “a year or two” later.

The picture that’s forming goes something like this:

Fiat

500 only

Chrysler

Fiat-based compact

Fiat-based mid-size

300

Town and Country

Dodge

Charger

Challenger

Alfa Romeo

MiTo hot hatch

Midsize Sedan

Milano (300/Charger-based?)

Jeep

Compact 4×4 (Panda-Based)

Wrangler

Grand Cherokee

Ram

Ram

Durango

Dakota?

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36 Comments on “Tomorrow’s Fiat-Chrysler Lineup Today...”


  • avatar
    Roundel

    I think we are going to need a find another model name for the Ram. You can’t sell a…. Ram…Ram. That just doesn’t work.
    I think it would be wise to continue selling the Caravan under the Ram brand, if you want to make the Dodge brand car only thats fine, and if you want to continue selling the town and country under Chrysler, then it needs to be bells and whistles models only. No strippers with hubcaps.
    The Caravan should continue to sell the lower equipment models, it would be stupid to just let that market go….

  • avatar
    Stingray

    I don’t see anything wrong with the Patriot.

    In fact, I’ve seen the Compass, and I would buy as family hauler if I had the money.

    Dodge lineup is missing a compact and midsize sedan.
    And of course, the Caravan.

    It seems they want to take Chrysler downmarket.

    Jeep is missing a replacement for the Patriot and Liberty. 2 markets lost.

    Not good.

  • avatar

    “Roundel:I think we are going to need a find another model name for the Ram. You can’t sell a…. Ram…Ram. That just doesn’t work.”

    The Ram’s are currently sold as “Dodge Ram 1500″, 2500, and 3500. Is it really that much of an imagination stretch to see them sold just as “Ram 1500″, “Ram 2500″ and “Ram 3500″ etc…?

  • avatar
    Geotpf

    So Chrysler will have six nameplates in the United States? That is, two more than GM will? And no nameplate will have more than three products? What a clusterfuck. Why isn’t the 500 just going to be a Dodge here? Why are they making a new nameplate for Dodge trucks now? (They can seperate Dodge cars and Dodge trucks legally but invisibily to the public, I would think.) Alfa Romeos should probably be badged as Chryslers as well.

  • avatar
    Billy Bobb 2

    Thanks, Dear Leader and PTFOA!

    We sure got our twenty billion dollars worth right there!

    (Rat Rattner: “We were most concerned of the political consequences of Chrysler’s failure across the Midwest…”)

  • avatar
    Geotpf

    Stingray :
    October 27th, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    It seems they want to take Chrysler downmarket.

    It’s not possible for Chrysler to go further down market than it already is now, considering that the PT Cruiser exists.

  • avatar
    BuzzDog

    Roundel, for its first 40 years Chevrolet sold…the Chevrolet. It wasn’t until the 1960s that model names became all that important.

    If we’re getting a Panda-based compact 4×4, I wish for a soft-top version in the spirit of the old Suzuki Samurai (and to a lesser degree, the Sidekick). In fact, I often wonder why Daimler-Chrysler didn’t create the Compass in this vein, instead of making it almost identical to the Patriot.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    “Italian products will arrive being arriving in 2011 with the Fiat 500.”

    That’s still not going to keep the doors open at Chrysler. Let’s recap. Pickup truck sales are down because the housing market is in the toilet. The housing market will remain in the toilet until at least 2011.

    Pickup trucks and SUVs have been keeping the lights on at Chrysler. SUVs remain “vehiculae non grata.”

    And while we’re at it, the perky little 500, if made in Europe, will be subject to currency fluctuations. It’s a small car, and will have relatively small margins.

    And by the way, is that the calendar year 2011 or the model year 2011?

    Don’t get your hopes up Alfistis.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    Geotpf,
    Technically, eight nameplates, including high volume Ferrari and Maserati.

    At least they will appear high volume compared to the volumes this lineup is going to generate…

  • avatar
    CaliCarGuy

    is it just me, or does it seem as if fiat is trying to slowly phase out chrysler dodge and jeep? this seems like they used this as a way to push themselves back into the north american market.

  • avatar
    gfen

    Except for the loss of the Patriot, I’m not sure I see a problem here? Since everything will sell out of a single dealership, and it would appear many of these vehicles are unique to themselves, I don’t see problems really.

    I’d think they’d do better dumping the Grand Cherokee and just keeping the lower cost Patriot around.

  • avatar
    vexner

    I have no hope for this Fiat/Chrysler partnership. The decisions as to the product assignments further proves Fiat is clueless as to how to manage Chrysler.

    You take Dodge, a brand that up until a few years ago was the 3rd best selling brand in the US, and basically kill it…and pulling the trucks from Dodge?

    There is no sense in this madness.

    Where is a future CUV like the Journey/Pacifica?

    Stupidity I say…and Chrysler is doomed.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    Can we have a pool on how many Sebrings they will sell in the next 2 years.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    Wow. I see a few things. One – Chrysler as a car company is dead. Very very little of what we see here will ever be designed/engineered/tested/built in Auburn Hills/United States. Don’t be shocked to see Fiat running the Tech Center for major worldwide engineering projects. Its a great building from that standpoint….arguably the most valuable thing at Chrysler. But they’re as good as dead as an independent group.

    Second, this is never gonna work anyway. This is a branding mess. Consumers will be confused. 2 Dodges from a brand that formally sold an entire lineup? Will the RAM be sold in the Dodge dealership or at a separate store? So we’ll get a Fiat 500, and other Fiats, but only the 500 is a “Fiat”? Or Alfas as Alfas but others are Chryslers? And beyond that, Chrysler/Dodge buyers are gonna know in 2 seconds that they’re not in a true Chrysler/Dodge (might be a good thing…ha), but they’re not gonna want italian cars trying to fool them into thinking they’re driving American Chryslers.

    I predict 5 more years of Chrysler’s being jerked around the auto world. So that will make it a pretty close 15-16 year of them being F’d by other car companies, only to have the end result be the same.

    Its sad, and its hard on Michigan (where I grew up), so I have a soft spot. But lets get on with it, get the misery over with, stop dangling this carrot that will never be reached, put the sucker down, then the auto world, and Michigan can just move on.

    I had hopes. I did when DCX was formed. I suspect I learn faster now….this will not work.

  • avatar
    Autojunkie

    There is nothing being said in this article. It’s all specualtion. While some of it may be correct, none of it is official and there are definately some holes…

    Where is the Viper? And don’t say it’s getting discontinued, or else why did Fiat make the effort to make sure it didn’t go away with Oldcarco?

    Just wait till November 4th and stop the speculation. It’s meaningless…

  • avatar
    NoSubstitute

    Too many brands was never the problem. How many does Proctor & Gamble have? It’s too much brand fuzziness and dilution. Had GM reduced each brand’s offerings to one or three clearly focused products they could have actually strengthened their line up. The dealers wouldn’t have liked it much though.

    The plan outlined above isn’t bad. Brand definitions seem pretty sharp and there’s no re-badging (plus or minus between Fiat and Alfa).

    But getting back to those pesky dealers, one has to question whether there are too many different messages to go under one roof. Chrysler has downsized its dealership structure so that Chrysler Dodge and Jeep are now typically sold together. Add in Fiat, Alfa and Ram and you’ve got a nice little farmer’s market vibe going.

    BMW and Mini is probably the most successful example of dealership co-habitation. But they share a common premium performance story so that customers of each are comfortable around the other. Likewise Ferrari/Maserati and to some extent VW/Audi. Toyota and Scion have the whole generation gap between them and it hasn’t worked nearly as well. Then of course there’s Chry/Dodge/Jeep, Lincoln/Mercury and Buick/GMC as they are now, but today’s products don’t really offer a fair test of the concept.

    While we’re on a micro-branding kick, how about sub-dividing some existing brands? At the top of my list (of course) would be Porsche. What about calling the Panamera and Cayenne something (anything) else? You know, something big, strong and Germanic for the person who wants something…big, strong and Germanic.

    Schwarzenegger? Scheisskopf? Haesslich?

  • avatar
    Roundel

    @jrderego
    “The Ram’s are currently sold as “Dodge Ram 1500″, 2500, and 3500. Is it really that much of an imagination stretch to see them sold just as “Ram 1500″, “Ram 2500″ and “Ram 3500″ etc…?”
    Nah… too old school, Chevy did it in the 90′s and they abandoned it.
    Too many letters and numbers might confuse people to think its a Caddy or a Lincoln as well.

    Overall though, its clear that this lineup is as solid as swiss cheese.

  • avatar
    fisher72

    Fiaysler? Fiatsler?

  • avatar
    Jimal

    So the Town & Country is the only minivan in this alleged lineup? No more Caravan? Why abandon a segment you basically (re)invented and until very recently ruled over? They sell MPVs in Europe as well.

  • avatar
    Justin Berkowitz

    Well, WSJ has even got this BS speculative story wrong.

    The Alfa Milano won’t be Chrysler RWD LX based.

    That’s because the Milano is already confirmed as a FWD hatchback in the Golf/Focus class.

    http://carscoop.blogspot.com/2009/07/alfa-romeo-milano-fully-revealed-in.html

  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    Killing the Grand Caravan has to be done carefully as not to lose customers to other brands. When Plymouth and the Voyager were axed the customers went elsewhere. Despite moving the Town & Country downmarket, Chrysler was not able to staunch the flow of customers.

  • avatar
    gogogodzilla

    Hope they live up to the promise of bringing out the Alfa Romeo MiTo in the states.

    Specially if it’s the GTA version.

    *droool*

  • avatar
    windswords

    This is speculation.
    Anyone with any sense can see the list is not complete. There is no delivery type vehicle for the new Ram brand to replace the sprinter. Fiat was to supply one or even two vehicles (small and large) for this segment. And as someone else said, where is Viper? They couldn’t sell it, people buy it, it makes money, so why discontinue it?

  • avatar
    Brian P

    As long as they bring the 500 with their excellent Multiair engine, I will be very happy.

  • avatar
    Tstag

    With the exception of Jeep it looks like a good plan to me.

    Jeep will have a big problem. It’s model range will be small and it will face intense competition. In about 5 years time Land Rover will have the following range:

    - All new baby Range Rover (aluminium hybrid)
    - Freelander 2
    - All new LR3 (Aluminium hybrid)
    - All new RR Sport(Aluminium hybrid)
    - All new more expensive RR (Aluminium hybrid)
    - All new Defender (family of SUV’s)

    That lot makes Jeep look very weak.

  • avatar
    Via Nocturna

    While I’m left scratching my head as to why Dodge will be selling only two cars, Fiat only one(!), and the Caravan is apparently getting the ax, I’m just going to take this whole update with a tablespoon of salt until the official reports from Fiatsler are out. Especially after the obviously ‘shopped WARotD of an LX Alfa the other day. Oy.

    An unnamed Alfa “Midsize Sedan”? I know I’m a fool to hope for it, but I just adore the 159. Which makes me wonder what the hell is going on with that wonderful car. The platform was co-developed by GM and Opel, but now that Opel’s been divorced from GM and Fiat and Chrysler are together and Alfa is part of Fiat…

    That Punto in the pic is a pretty good-looking car too.

  • avatar
    johnny ro

    What I want to know is where is the money going to come from to keep the lights on until new products arrive? And after that what about UAW costs.

  • avatar
    50merc

    I’m really looking forward to seeing Chrysler’s new compact that’ll be a rehash of a Fiat design.

    They ought to play up the heritage angle:
    “First, there was the Fiat-based Yugo!
    Today, there is ….”

    Um, never mind.

  • avatar
    mtymsi

    On our local news tonight (metro Detroit area) they reported the Sebring would receive a new grill and taillights (as if anyone cared) as one of the measures to keep selling vehicles until the Fiat/Alfa models arrive. The literal definition of putting lipstick on a pig. Good luck with moves like that Fiatsler. We all know it, no matter what Fiat says, Chrysler is on its way out for the umpteenth time but this time for good. RIP

  • avatar
    tpandw

    If you read the WSJ story at least a couple of points seem particularly important. First, as johnny ro suggests, Sergio’s big problem is keeping Chrysler afloat until 2012 when new products begin to show up in quantity. Second, the 500 will be built in Mexico! If part of the point of this whole exercise (i.e., bailing out Chrysler/GM) was to preserve US jobs, this is a strange turn of events. Having said that, this doesn’t seem to me like a totally bad plan, especially since everything will be sold from the same dealerships. Furthermore, it may be that in the back of Sergio’s mind is the prospect that if things really go south, he’s got two possibly viable brands (Jeep and Ram) that could be sold. Moreover, the WSJ article makes clear that Fiat has no intention of putting any money into Chrysler. So Fiat seems to be playing its cards pretty well–the possibility of real gain but not real monetary losses.

  • avatar
    tedward

    This looks better than what I was fearing would happen to the brands. It looks like they’ve insisted each brand name exist for a purpose. What I was afraid of was Dodge, Chrysler, Fiat and Alfa all sharing a rebadged full line-up. With enough money and some bravery it might work, and even if it fails I bet it produces some very interesting cars short-term. And that last point is what I think we should pay some attention to as car geeks.

  • avatar
    Daanii2

    the possibility of real gain but not real monetary losses

    Well said. Once again we see neocapitalism in all its glory: Gains, if any, enjoyed by private investors. Losses, if any, borne by the public.

    Corruption and cronyism are not just in the history books.

  • avatar
    mtypex

    If you can’t Dodge it, Ram it!

    The front-page story in today’s Wall Street Journal is that the Dodge Dakota will be axed.

    So, the ‘Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep Superstores’ will become ‘FIAT-Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram-Alfa Romeo MEGAstores’? Schweet!

    Hey, Dodge with a couple of muscle cars is basically what the Pontiac purists begged GM to do with their favorite marque.

    The final 50-62 (rough estimate) Sebrings purchased in the next two years will sell to die-hards in Metro Detroit, same as the “Final 500″ edition Oldsmobiles.

  • avatar
    Mirko Reinhardt

    What platform would a Fiat-based midsize Chrysler use? Because right now, the midsize Fiats are GM Epsilon based.

  • avatar

    just think, a pizza car company put chrysler out of business.  I own a 03 caravan, I have maintained it and it has a 180,000 plus miles on it. It will be a sad day when chrysler closes it’s doors for good, gm is not far behind

  • avatar
    killerbee

    Please manufacture the Jeep Gladiator. Get ride of the patriot and liberty. America needs a compact truck. Ford is making one, so is GM.

    The Fiat 500 is cute but…..the rest of the fiats are too Euro for me.


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