By on July 30, 2015

2015 Chrysler Town & Country

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles may have only one new model built in North America over the next 18 months after executives pushed back development of others due to brisk sales of current models, Reuters is reporting.

The redesigned Chrysler Town and Country minivan may be the only new car built stateside that FCA plans to launch in the next 18 months, sources told Reuters. The company is planning to bring to the United States three Italian cars — the Fiat Spider, Maserati’s crossover and the Alfa Romeo Giulia — in the same timeframe.

This is the part where we would like to mention that a new Jeep Grand Cherokee and Wrangler are seriously overdue.

The reason for the delay in U.S.-built cars also could be the application of the time-tested Georgia farmer theory: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Wrangler sales are booming this year, Grand Cherokee’s numbers don’t suck either and Jeep is doing pretty well with just the Renegade as its new product this year. According to the story, the Wrangler redesign is now slated for 2017 and the Grand Cherokee overhaul should arrive in 2019.

Earlier this year, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said he was hesitant to shut down the Toledo Wrangler factory for retooling when the company needed the plant to produce so many cars.

“If I shut it down for 60 days, I’d lose more money than I’d make in a year,” Marchionne said.

Comparatively, General Motors will launch six new North American vehicles in the next 18 months, according to the report.

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46 Comments on “Fiat Chrysler’s Product Pipeline Drier than California for 2016...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    So a MX-5 clone, a me too fake SUV for a very niche brand, and yet another BMW competitor. Where’s the volume model?

    “Fiat 124 Spider: background story
    As part of the joint venture agreement with Mazda, both the Fiat 124 Spider and the Mazda MX-5 are to be made at Mazda’s factory in Hiroshima, Japan. According to our source, the agreement between Fiat and Mazda is that the MX-5 will launch first and take centre stage in 2015, with Fiat’s alternative offering coming 12 months in 2016.”

    http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/fiat/90395/new-fiat-124-spider-first-spy-shots

    http://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/maserati-levante-to-debut-in-detroit-details-images/

    • 0 avatar
      MrIcky

      I was under the impression that CUVs are the volume model of the twenty-teens.

      • 0 avatar
        derekson

        They largely are, but a Maserati branded one isn’t a volume anything. They’ll be lucky to move more than 5k per year.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Maserati is not a volume brand, there might be 75 dealers in the nation. If each dealer sold 10/mo at 80K or thereabouts, that’s 9000 annually. Nice margin for FCA and these dealers who at this time only have two products to sell, but is this is the right move for a company with 15 or 16% US marketshare?

        http://www.maserati.us/maserati/us/en/index/dealer-locator.html?ccode=1.

        Volume models pay for fun niche cars, not the other way around. FCA by ignoring its volume models is setting itself up for failure down the line.

  • avatar
    ellomdian

    That’s kind of always been the problem with the Wrangler. The people who buy them pretty much just want the same thing that Jeep’s been producing for 20 years.

    Then again, I have a hard time believing that FCA can’t afford to produce a 60-day overage of Wranglers to idle the line for a new model. Smells a hell of a lot more like ‘Have you seen how much money we make on this terrible cheap car that costs $8.50 to make? Why would we ever change anything!”

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      What could possible slow down the Wrangle production line? The only thing that is going to change is the head unit/radio. As mentioned its the same vehicle from 20 years ago. I’ve often wondered why you can’t buy it in kit form, then just build it yourself to save some money. Based on how the doors are attached it appears you only need a allen key from IKEA. Or save even more money and don’t bother with doors at all, that seems like a popular option anyway.

      • 0 avatar
        Polishdon

        Really ?

        The jeep Wrangler is the same vehicle from 1995 ? The 1995 was the last year for the square headlight YJ jeep from AMC. The TJ (1997-2006) the only carry over parts were the engines and door handles. The JK (2007-presend) was a complete redesign of the Jeep.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeep_Wrangler

        And yes, you can purchase a lot of parts, but you cannot get a VIN so you can’t build a street legal one.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Well it’s basically built like a super kit car. FCA builds the transmission and engine, sends it to Mobis where the powertrain and other parts are combined with the chassis. Then they send it over to KUKA who puts all the body parts on. Then FCA paints them.

    • 0 avatar

      There’s some truth to the conservatism of Wrangler buyers, but every major redesign of the past 30 years have been a major success, helping sales dramatically. I remember gripes about the “minivan” engine. Where are those people now? Probably swapping SBCs into rusty WJs. All the volume of modern Wrangler comes from the mall crawler crowd and they will move on.

      The new interior in 2011 and new engines and transmissions in 2012 were quite successful, but the years are flying by, and we are due for at least a refresh in 2016. Except that Sergio was too greedy, so make it 2017.

    • 0 avatar
      MrGreenMan

      As someone who tries very hard never to be stuck behind one on the road: The car itself is inoffensive, but it would be nice if they made them go faster. Do they just choke down the transmissions or something? I thought those had Pentastars now.

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        This is a big wonder to me as well.
        It doesn’t seem to have a whole lotta sound proofing. Are the materials just that heavy? I know the tires are huge…but not more so than a truck’s.
        The trans and engines are all modern…why the poor speed or MPG!!??

        I will say, however, I understand the love.

        There are certain cars that simply bring out the Fab 4 Joy Madness. The Mustang. The Wrangler. The Porsche 911. Car designs like these that keep that Gotta Have lust through all the years of redesigning. There are a few more.

        Then there are those to me that NEVER created the lust…only the current pop star one hit wonders like the Tesla. It has absolutely no long term staying power. No personality at all.

  • avatar
    Serpens

    Don’t forget the Cherokee refresh is coming in 2016.

  • avatar
    MrIcky

    The new Wranglers look kind of the same and still be body on frame, but I don’t think they have any parts in common at all with anything pre-2007. different footprint/dimensions, different engine, interior, suspension, frame, etc.

  • avatar
    rpol35

    This will be the first tine in its history that the Grand Cherokee is going to go longer than six years on a cycle:

    1st 1993-1998
    2nd 1999-2004
    3rd 2005-2010
    4th 2011- (should be 2016)

    Even through the ignominious Daimler-Chrysler and Cerberus ownership they still managed to get a six year redo going. Seems a bit telling…..

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Well, they’re growing marketshare hand over fist, while Ford, Toyota, GM and Honda have lost it.

    So I guess selling decade plus old Mercedes technology with a Hemi under the hood to subprime customers by the bushel has merit.

    • 0 avatar
      jpolicke

      The stereotype of FCA customers being subprime is starting to get a little personally irritating. I’ll put my Dodge and my FICO up against whatever you’ve got.

      • 0 avatar
        DweezilSFV

        GM Financial is 83% sub prime in their automotive lending

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          Link please — because that stat goes against every shred of news I can find using Google / Bing in a news search of “GM Financial 83%”

          https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=GM+financial+83%25&tbm=nws

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Well a Google search reveals this on Chrysler Capital’s page:

        https://chryslercapital.com/blog/low-credit-score-problem

        Here is TTAC story on what subprime buyers are buying:

        https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/04/a-snapshot-of-what-sub-prime-buyers-are-driving/

        Then there is this:

        https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/fiat-chryslers-new-us-cars-far-2016/#more-1129321

        …But what we do know is that FCA is getting a boost from looser lending terms. A recent Reuters report, citing non-public data from J. D. Power, said that 26% of the Chrysler brand’s sales involved subprime financing. The industry average is 12.7%, according to the report….

        • 0 avatar
          jpolicke

          From GMFinancial.com: “GM Financial (formerly AmeriCredit) has been a leading subprime auto finance company for over 20 years. Subprime lending continues to be our focus and core product offering.”

          So by your logic if you drive a GM you’re likely a deadbeat, as opposed to 74% of Chrysler’s customers.

          • 0 avatar
            PentastarPride

            I am not part of the statistic, if there is any. My 2013 200 Limited is bought and paid for. I pay myself a car payment.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        The 2nd to last Chrysler salesman that I had the pleasure to deal with was dressed like a literal pimp.

        Shiny leather pants? Check!

        Sunglasses with pink frames? Check!

        Watch large enough to see from space? Check!

        Gold chain? Check!

        100 dollar bill clipped to the outside of his billfold and business card holder? Check!

        I understand that this is the appropriate garb in which to sell Chrysler’s upscale lineup of 200s and 300s to those barely able to qualify for financing, but I was there to look at a truck. Understanding your customer, fail. Perpetuating the stereotype I’m replying to, succeed.

  • avatar
    Fred

    Poor Mr Marchionne can’t think beyond the quarterly numbers.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    He spent all his money on those Alfas 80,000 people in the US will buy each year.

  • avatar
    clivesl

    So, FCA is releasing 4 new models over the next 18 months in the US and GM is introducing 6 in the same time frame.

    They are entering two new segments where they don’t play right now with the Giulia and the Spider. They are bringing a pure profit luxed out crossover in the Maserati. And they are bringing a brand new vehicle to the minivan market, which we know they can compete in.

    This equates to a product drought how exactly?

    • 0 avatar
      derekson

      It’s a product drought for the Chrysler side of the company, not the company overall. They’ve siphoned money away from Jeep/Ram/Dodge to pay for developing new Maserati and Alfa models. Meanwhile the actual engines of their market share growth are being left to rot on the vine.

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        That’s hardly accurate, given that the JGC and Charger replacements will be derived from the same platforms as the new Maserati and Alfa. They will probably be better-off than if they had been based on US-only platforms (mostly because of higher combined budgets).

      • 0 avatar
        moff90

        Yeah, it’s not like they introduced the Cherokee, Renegade, Ecodiesel GC and Ram, 8-speed, new 200, Hellcat twins and other stuff i may have forgotten.

    • 0 avatar
      MrGreenMan

      Everyone wants to know if/when they will abandon the Mercedes platform under the Charger/Challenger. I’m sure this is one of Chrysler’s questions, too. What would they switch to? Make their own? It’s definitely a “don’t mess with success” moment, which makes the big car or the sport coupe for Dodge or the Chrysler barge a difficult proposition. The current one is good – 1990s platform who cares?

  • avatar

    If you won’t return the Magnum (which is stupid if you don’t), bring back the Pacifica with RWD/AWD and offer a 3.6-L AWD Pentastar with 8-speed and a 392/ HELLCAT Pacifica.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      BTSR: Trying to save FCA 100 sales at a time.

    • 0 avatar
      matador

      But, the Buy Here Pay Here dealers filled all of their leftover spaces with the last Dodge Magnum. In two years, when the new ones have body damage, suspicious odors, and 4 mismatched Wang Chung brand tires, where do you expect them to put these?

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        LOL, Wang Chung. Those Magnums certainly did go downhill fast.

      • 0 avatar

        Not to mention all of those ex-fleet Dodge Journeys. What are they supposed to do with those?

        Seriously, save for the Grand Cherokee or some SRT model, I wouldn’t dare buy a new mainstream Fiat Chrysler product. They sell too many vehicles to fleets and then dump them into the used market, lowering everyone’s resale values. I swear, for every ten examples of the new Chrysler 200 I see, nine are active rental cars. Does anyone buy these things?

      • 0 avatar
        matador

        They were alright. I had a pair back in my dance hall days.

        I wouldn’t buy a mainstream Dodge car today, either. Just like the Tauruses of 10 years ago, you know that in a few years, these will be a dime a dozen.

  • avatar
    canddmeyer

    California wouldn’t be dry if the 11,000,000 illegals went home.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    “Retooling, that’s a great excuse. Retooling, I’LL RETOOL YOU!”

    All I can think of when I see that word.

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