By on December 13, 2015

2015 Chrysler 200 S AWD front angle

According to a report from Allpar, Chrysler’s model mix might be getting a major re-shuffle compared to Sergio Marchionne’s much touted five-year plan shown in 2014. While Allpar doesn’t list a source, a recent investor presentation marked Chrysler’s future lineup as “under re-evaluation”.

The five-year plan called for a new C-segment sedan, which was dubbed Chrysler 100, and a slew of other new product.

With fuel prices expected to stay at their current level until at least 2020 and the market eschewing smaller cars for crossovers, the time may not be right for the Chrysler 100 in North America, reports Allpar.

Referencing the 2014 Investor Day five-year plan, Chrysler expected to debut the C-segment 100 sedan and new Town and Country minivan with a PHEV derivative in 2016. A year later, the brand planned to add a full-size crossover to the mix with a PHEV derivative and refresh the Chrysler 200 sedan. A new Chrysler 300 sedan and midsize crossover are planned to arrive in 2018.

The previously planned Chrysler 100 sedan, which has already morphed into a hatchback in spy shots, may now turn into a crossover instead of staying a small car, complementing the Jeep Renegade and Fiat 500X. And by crossover, we mean closer to Fiat 500X than we do Renegade. Expect this to be a jacked up hatchback with body cladding, if it happens at all.

Allpar is also speculating a Dodge Journey replacement along with a minivan-based, full-size crossover will join the Chrysler brand in the near term in order to strike the crossover market while its hot.

One thing is for certain: If Chrysler doesn’t add new models, especially ones that can be sold globally, it can say goodbye to that 800,000 sales per year goal.

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90 Comments on “Allpar: Chrysler Model Mix “Under Re-evaluation”...”


  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Interesting thoughts there and maybe they’re right in waiting, but it’s quite apparent that Chrysler NEEDS some change. I’d personally prefer a Renegade-styled wagon over another egg-shaped crossover for the 100 myself. Only make it a 2-2/2 door rig instead of a 4-door. For some, those extra doors are simply a waste; almost never used.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Regardless of how often the back doors get used, it’s now 4 doors or nothing. 2-door SUVs haven’t sold well for 20 years.

      • 0 avatar

        I suspect there are a small number of people like myself who would love a two-door SUV, if only to signal that they are single and not a soccer mom. I don’t know if that number is enough to justify their existence, though.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Is it that they haven’t sold, or just haven’t been available? The Jeep Wrangler two-door still sells pretty well from what I’ve seen and there is certainly a statistically-significant number of buyers out there who simply don’t want a four-door vehicle and don’t have any choice.

  • avatar
    MBella

    Since they have Dodge under the same roof now, I don’t see why Chrysler needs a badge engineered version of every entry.

    • 0 avatar

      And most, if not all, dealers, also have Jeep. They aren’t going to sell more cars this way, they are just going to cannibalize sales of their existing models.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Chrysler doesn’t need a badge engineered version of Dodge models, it needs upscale models with different sheet metal over the same platform, with better steering/suspension/materials. The best way to kill Chrysler is to put new front and rear clips on Dodges with extra trim and a new instrument panel to accommodate electronic toys. That’s how Ford killed Mercury.

      • 0 avatar
        derekson

        Chrysler is no longer supposed to be a competitor for Buick/Acura/Lincoln/etc. It’s now supposed to be a mainline competitor for Chevy/Ford/Honda/Toyota/etc. This was part of the reorganization in the “5 year plan” involving Alfa taking over as FCA’s luxury brand for vehicles below Maserati. Hence the 200 debuting as a Camcord competitor rather than a luxury car. And this is also why the Grand Caravan is dying with the T&C taking over as the only new minivan.

      • 0 avatar
        George B

        Lorenzo, there aren’t many people still alive who remember when Chrysler was a luxury brand. I like the 300C, but it might as well come from the factory with a ghetto cruiser trim package complete with insanely big wheels and a Hip-Hop-optimized sound system. The image isn’t upscale.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          “it might as well come from the factory with a ghetto cruiser trim package complete with insanely big wheels and a Hip-Hop-optimized sound system.”

          That’s called the 8-Mile Edition, and it’s real.

      • 0 avatar
        Advance_92

        If Alfas weren’t looking like vaproware I’d suggest making Chrysler versions with those underpinnings and keep Dodge as the lower priced/cheap speed options.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      If you choose to remember, every brand, whether it be the Chrysler group, GM, Ford and even some imports (Japanese), they’ve sold multiple levels of their vehicles under different brand names. A Dodge Dart was a Plymouth Valiant to all intents and purposes, albeit with a nose and tail treatment to differentiate them outside and usually the Plymouth had a slight interior improvement as well. Over the years these ‘stacked’ brands became more and more alike until their bodies were essentially identical and the interiors had multiple trim treatments that tended to overlap their next higher cousins. That’s what came of letting accountants pinch pennies while ignoring dollars. It’s one, if not the primary, reason many brands such as Plymouth itself, Pontiac, Oldsmobile and others no longer exist; by cheaping out, their identity got lost.

      So I agree, MBella; the models between brands need separate and very visible identities. The Dodge Charger still looks too much like the Chrysler 300. Sure, it’s cheaper to build that way, but the Charger really doesn’t live up to the Charger name in style or purpose; it’s a bloomin’ sedan, not a coupe. Let the 300 be a 300 and keep the Challenger as their sport model. The idea of a Chrysler 100 almost identical to the Dodge Dart is almost ludicrous; they need a very separate identity and I believe Fiat/Chrysler is realizing that sooner than anyone else. Every new Jeep model so far is very visibly different from the next and that’s why Jeep has become their biggest-selling brand (next to the trucks.)

      Then look at Ford. Except for their physical size, how do you tell the Fiesta from the Focus from the Fusion from the Taurus? They’re so much alike that it is difficult, if not impossible to tell them apart from a block away. Ford did do one thing right; by dropping Mercury the difference between Fords and Lincolns is much more obvious. But the Fords themselves have had to grow up into the Mercury class with ever more models as a result. Again, models that look too much alike.

      And don’t get me started on the Japanese. Honda/Acura, Toyota/Lexus, Nissan/Infiniti; in every case the bodies are essentially identical between the related brands. Yes, it allows the brands to create a luxury model supposedly independent of the base version, but if they share the same body are they really different?

      There are so many ways–very visible ways–models can be individualized. Making them all look the same simply turns their buyers into “sheep”.

  • avatar
    zip89105

    Just make a higher quality product and 3 models will easily carry the brand.

  • avatar
    pragmatic

    FCA needs some major rethinking for the US market. Jeep covers their areas pretty well, they should drop the FWD versions of any of their vehicles and only offer AWD or 4WD. FWD versions should be offered as family CUVs as Chrysler products. Then just add a larger Grand Cherokee with 7 passenger seating and possibly a small Wrangler based 2 seat pick-up.

    Dodge should be a niche player offering RWD or AWD versions of RWD cars and SUVs. No FWD or FWD based CUVs. Relaunch the Dart as a Chrysler (100?). Come out with a smaller RWD chassis (below the Charger) with Pentastar and turbo 4 cylinder power plants. Redo the Charger/Challenger so its similar size but 3-400 lbs lighter.

    Chrysler should offer the CUVs. These should include a redesigned Journey, CUV based Dart, FWD version of Patriot/Compass, FWD Renegade. Chrysler also gets minivans (FWD and AWD). For 300 things get messy. I would offer a non-lettered 300 as a large FWD/AWD sedan and a lettered car RWD/AWD (redesign of current car that’s 3-400 lbs lighter.

    Ram is fine.

    The main problem is funding. SM has used Chrysler’s sales growth to fund Fiat’s losses while Europe slumps. Europe will recover but I’m not sure it will be robust enough so that Fiat is not in need of constant cash especially if they keep crazy plans for supporting both Alfa and Maserati.

    Fiat remains in US as a niche marketer selling very small cars and CUVs (500L as largest), plus small niche sports models (new Miata based Fiat), the dealers can carry Alfa’s but the range of Alfas should be quite small.

    • 0 avatar

      And that’s another thing; the dealers were sold a false promise of future Alfa-Romeos exclusively if they invested in worthless Fiat Studios, so they don’t even get the chance.

      • 0 avatar
        Flipper35

        That and they keep teasing about a RWD “Avenger” or “‘cuda” based on the new Alfa RWD platform. There has been rumored tests of a 450hp turbo six. Would be about right in an Avanger sized car with RWD.

        The SRT Dart has been on and off again.

        For Chrysler, they have the T&C, 300 and the 200. Maybe add a “Pacifica” to replace the Journey and put real seats instead of church pew hard ones in it. Not sure for the 100. The convention so far is smaller number is a smaller car and I am not sure a 500XL sized car really fits the Chrysler image. Maybe a Cherokee sized vehicle if it is going to be a crossover. If not maybe a 2 seater of some sort like a turbo six Viper-esque GT car. Though that worked out real well for Cadillac.

    • 0 avatar
      jthorner

      I disagree with the AWD/4WD only idea for Jeep. In the huge California market, AWD isn’t needed or even desired by a large portion of the buyers. If you don’t live with snow and ice and don’t go off road, AWD just adds weight, cost and complexity while reducing fuel economy. Offering a RWD version of the Grand Cherokee, for example, continues to make a lot of sense.

      I see lots and lots of Jeeps in our area, and the majority of the buyers are fine with FWD or RWD.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Subaru sells only automatic sequential all-wheel drive vehicles and I think other manufacturers should do the same. While AWD is not needed by the vast majority of buyers, I believe it should be the next addition to standard-equipment like airconditioning, power steering, cruise control, power windows, power door locks, and keyless-entry remote fobs.

        • 0 avatar
          George B

          highdesertcat, standard AWD would be insane in terms of cost vs. value. Just offering AWD requires a FWD-oriented car to devote interior space to a tunnel for a drive shaft. For the parts of the country where snow is a non-issue, FWD is the value configuration and RWD is the upscale looks and feels right configuration.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            George B, my reply disappeared into the great ttac server-void and I’m up to my ears to do it again now.

          • 0 avatar
            Flipper35

            But if you are building something that is available FWD or AWD the unibody will have the tunnel for both. They aren’t going to build a FWD only Jeep.

        • 0 avatar
          pragmatic

          I’ve always avoided AWD 4WD because I don’t want the weight, the cost or the fuel economy penalty.

          I drive RWD live in an area it snows (occasionally) and drive every other weekend to ski (where the roads are always snow covered). I know some prefer AWD but to me its a reason to avoid a vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      MrGreenMan

      Well, it wouldn’t be particularly pragmatic to kill the silver-lined goose in exchange for how things ought to be for some notion of purity.

      Plymoth’s dead. Dodge is now Plymouth.

      If you pull the latest sales report available, of the 1.85 million autos that Chrysler-Fiat moved in America, that was through October:

      276.6K Chrysler
      706.5K Jeep
      429 K Dodge
      402.2K RAM
      36.1K FIAT

      (Source: FCA published financials by month by brand)

      So, if you reverse the inappropriate bifurcation and admit that RAM is really a Dodge, Dodge/RAM is their main mover of metal, with Dodge in front of RAM. Even without admitting RAM back into Dodge, Dodge is anything but niche.

      Dodge has so far moved through October:

      74k Darts
      79k Chargers
      57k Challengers

      210k Dodge cars

      (Source: Goodcarbadcar.net)

      So, with that little Dart, they need to not screw it up, since it’s just as valuable to them as the Charger. I agree with you that there’s room for a performance mid-sizer with RWD from Dodge – but not at the expense of the Dart, and Dodge should not be repositioned to be a niche vehicle.

      The Chrysler car podium kind of looks like the 200, the Charger, and the Dart.

      159k Chrysler 200s
      44k Chrysler 300s

      203K Chrysler cars

      Why would they move the Dart under Chrysler and hurt those 200 sales?

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      This post and screen name are at odds with each other. Want to know how an all RWD Dodge lineup would go? Look at Cadillac. FCA doesn’t have the money to pour into a RWD platform nobody wants.

      FCA really screwed itself with that Compact Wide platform. It is about 200-400lb too heavy. They need to pull the weight out of that and clip some of its vulgar overhang so the cars will look better and get better fuel economy. Those are the things that will help lift FCA’s profile and sales. A Camry V6 weighs about 3400lbs. There is no reason a FWD V6 200 to weigh 3600lbs or an AWD V6 200 to weigh 4000lbs. I mean some Darts weigh 3400lbs. That would only get worse with a RWD platform.

      • 0 avatar
        derekson

        FCA already put the money into this platform to build the Giulia. They could make a compact RWD Dodge on this platform if they were so inclined, but it would dilute the exclusivity of the Alfa, such as it has anyway.

        Isn’t the Compact Wide platform so heavy because it’s basically just an updated version of the old platform made in the joint venture with GM?

      • 0 avatar
        pragmatic

        My point is that Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep should not share platforms. Chrysler has moved down market from where it was. Its the mainstream car company (200, T&C, 300) now. Jeep is Jeep. Dodge needs to be something (or why is it still around) so it sells sporty car/SUVs. They could go the opposite way making Dodge the mainstream car company (Caravan and making the 200 a Dodge) and move Chrysler up market. But I think that is even a fast death than my proposal. Of course they could just kill Chrysler and just sell Dodge (with Ram) and Jeep.

        They really missed the boat and without significant product investment they are screwed.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Dodge is already their mainstream badge, pragmatic. Theirs is the lower-priced, cover every size brand short, now, of the minivan. Chrysler is their up-market brand and always has been. What was lost is the Plymouth that used to sit between. Jeep, as Ram, are now “independent brands in that they share almost no platforms, at least visibly, with either Dodge or Chrysler. Meanwhile, Fiat itself and the different 500 models have taken over their ‘budget’ branding. Alfa could, in its way, fill in the Plymouth route but more in the sense that Pontiac used to be GM’s primarily sporty badge for 30 years. Even the Bonneville/Catalina were sportier than either Chevy or Buick with the exception of the mid-70s when everything really started looking the same.

          No, if you want to top Chrysler, then I would consider Maserati as their high-end brand. The new Maseratis are priced higher and the few I’ve looked at offer both better performance and higher luxury in a vehicle about the same size as the Charger/300 but a very different shape. Maserati clearly offers individuality in its models compared to the Chrysler/Dodge brands, even though they run on the same basic platforms–modified.

          The issues FCA is having are more due to obsolete viewpoints of quality and reliability. Certainly Daimler didn’t help that reputation but FCA is going out of its way to try and fix it. The products today are good–when they’re brand-new designs. But as long as they’re stuck with predecessor designs, they’re also stuck with the faults in those designs. It takes time to fix a company that was so badly screwed over in the past.

    • 0 avatar
      Pig_Iron

      “The main problem is funding.”

      I think something else is also going on behind the scenes at the top, something that they are trying very hard to keep hidden.

  • avatar

    A small Chrysler wagon? They might as well just bring back the PT Cruiser.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      The PT Cruiser was originally intended to be a trucklet–playing the truck market for truck CAFE balance–but started out far too weak and very quickly became an ordinary crossover/SUV. It had so much potential but the Daimler/Chrysler consortium managed to screw it over. It’s not their only mistake.

      Here’s the thing: Subaru gets by fine with a true wagon product in their “Outback”. They even offer the Impreza as an ordinary wagon as well, albeit that they call it the “Sport Premium” according to their website. Their purpose-built SUVs are the Forester and the Crosstrek. If you really bother to look, what everybody else is calling a crossover is little more than a slant-back wagon while an SUV is a square-back wagon. The only real exceptions are the very few body-on-frame SUVs such as the Jeep Wrangler, Chevy Suburban and maybe (I say maybe because I don’t think the model is BoF) the Ford Expedition. If you have to soften it, then they should be directly related to a pickup truck model, meaning what it used to mean of having the pickup truck’s nose and cab area with the bed becoming a covered load bed with built-in convertible seating. Even the old, so-called “panel wagons” of the 40s and 50s were originally built on the pickup platform until the late 50s when there were panel wagon versions of the Chevy Nomad (and possibly others.) With every one, the purpose was cargo hauling first, passengers were optional. Today? It’s passengers first, cargo optional.

      • 0 avatar
        SC5door

        We are VERY lucky FCA offers the Challenger with a 6 speed stick as it is, to make it an Imperial coupe with a 6 speed stick would be suicide. the 8 speed helps CAFE, the 6 speed stick just drags it down.

        Honestly the AWD Challenger concept from SEMA would be something they should look into building, certainly would help in the “snow” states.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          The Challenger should never be considered as a platform for the Imperial; the Charger on the other hand would be a perfect platform for a Diplomat while the 300 should be the Imperial.

  • avatar
    dwford

    So they make 5 year plans based on what gas is priced at today? Just look at the radical prices changes in gas we have seen in the last 10 years. So their plan is to go crossover heavy just in time for gas prices to go up again? How about just regularly fielding a balanced lineup?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      My thoughts exactly.

      CAFE requirements are killing FCA because they don’t have enough small cars, hybrids, or EVs in their mix:

      http://www.cars.com/go/advice/Story.jsp?section=fuel&story=cafe&subject=fuelList

  • avatar

    But keep dumping money into Fiat 500 variants and Alfa cars seventy-six people will buy.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      I wasnt aware that BMW, Audi, Infiniti, Mercedes and Cadillac fight over 76 total sales in the performance and (mostly) RWD sport/luxury sedan catagory. That doesnt sound good.

      And that number is combined with the market for BMW’s MINI brand and all of its variants? Sheesh.

    • 0 avatar
      MrGreenMan

      They should stop trying to sell anything under the FIAT and other Euro brands in the US. There’s nothing wrong with GM not selling Vauxhall/Opel here as Vauxhall/Opel, or the Nissan/Renault alliance only selling the Nissan half here.

      • 0 avatar
        Mr. Orange

        Other than the fact that Vauxhall/Opel has so little brand recognition in the US and that GM would have to spend big bucks to just create it. Why?

        • 0 avatar
          George B

          The reason for not selling small European-brand cars in the US is the same reason dwarfs don’t make big bucks as models. The proportions are all wrong. Most US consumers will only tolerate an ugly Euro-proportioned car if you make the price low enough.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      I’m one of those “seventy-six”, Flybrian.

      IMO, the Fiat 500 is a surprisingly good car. I used to agree with the old reputation, but my wife wanted one so badly that I had to test-drive it for her and was amazed by its performance and handling. I was totally surprised by its interior space despite being so physically small. I’m average sized and had to move the seat forward to reach the pedals while my wife is six-foot-tall with very long legs and has absolutely no problem sitting behind the wheel with notches left on the track for someone even taller. We have carried three people along with luggage and three-ball bowling bags for two on their way to the USBC Nationals with none uncomfortable for crowding. It carried us with almost no noticeable loss in performance despite carrying the base model engine… not even a turbo.

      People don’t buy Fiats because they believe that Fiat’s old reputation is still true. It’s not. Yes, they can be beaten to death by harsh drivers, especially in a rental environment. But as an owner with now over 12,000 miles on the car (have owned it for a year) it’s still a blast to drive and very economical. In fact, I just filled up with Premium gasoline and spent less than $20. And that’s with 350-mile range or more on the highway.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    Reviving the Fiat brand in the US was an interesting idea, that hasn’t worked. I’m a big fan of trying big things, but also realize that you need to feed the flowers and pull the weeds to grow a garden. Fiat USA is a weed. Pull it and put the water and fertilizer to better use.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Yes but Fiat could succeed with new product. Getting away from the 500, maybe it could share the Dart with Dodge (after a refresh). Making fun, attractive small cars and CUVs might be Fiat’s ticket to sales here, including the Fiata. A hardtop version of the Miata derivitive, exclusive to Fiat, would do well against the FR-S and BRZ, and an Abath model w/could battle I-4 Turbo Mustang and Camaro.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      jthorner,

      Fiat in the US is “something for nothing.” Pre-existing platforms, a limited number of powertrains, and conquest sales. It’s essentially free money for FCA.

      I agree with John Taurus that they need to expand the lineup with a small (Dart-based) sedan. They should also bring over their FWD pickup, and the Panda.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

    I did think about this as I caught the tail end of a Chrysler commercial recently. Their lineup is not enough.

    I say make a Personal Luxury Coupe variant of the LX platform. Id use the Baracuda name, but I guess that’s goin to Dodge. A few crossovers to appeal to the market, and for God sakes, invest in revamping the Dart before adding a Chrysler variant.

    • 0 avatar
      iNeon

      You’ve got it right, but I’d pick Imperial!

      Give it formal styling, a full-length console and adjustable/heatable rear buckets with a pano roof and make the manual available on the V6 models to differentiate it from the Challenger a bit more.

      I’d buy it twice, yesterday.

      They also need a Dart-a-like with a wagon and/or coupe variant. If Honda can offer the Accord in coupe/sedan and hatchback, so can’t Chrysler.

      I think Europe would buy a Dart wagon if it wore FIAT clothing there, so there would be some scale to the project.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        No Imperial will ever have a manual. Everything elses sounds great, though.

        • 0 avatar
          iNeon

          I guess I didn’t specify enough.

          The base 300 coupe could offer the manual with the 6-cylinder to bring over some of the fence shoppers for which a chally v8 might be too much car, or the people that want something a little larger/more formal than the Mustang. It would fit in the volume model they’re trying for with Chrysler, while not exactly stepping on Challenger’s toes– and while offering something Mustang doesn’t.

          The full-tilt model could be called Imperial, and go for the grand touring market sort of like the BMW 6 and the MB Scoupe(teehee) but maybe could still offer the HEMI + Manual, but with a more cushy interior/suspension?

          I just know I’d like to stay with the brand as long as possible. This vehicle would allow me to grow old with some dignity and is in no way altruistic.

          Its totally self-serving, because… no 40 year-old Art Historian looks right in a Dart or Challenger, and I want to shift my own gears.

  • avatar
    Fred

    They are lucky Jeep and Ram are doing so well and that gas prices are down so Chargers and the such are a good value now. But in a few years that could change and they will need something with better mpg. Any ideas of how that hybrid Minivan is comeing along?

  • avatar
    nickoo

    Chrysler continues to be incredibly mis managed. The new 200 failed to have adequate back seat room and the 9 speed is still problemstic. The town and country is ancient and has abysmal fit and finish. The 300 is their only decent vehicle and has an image problem…if i worked at chrysler. I would be actively looking for a new job. They have had nearly 6 years to fix it and havent done squat. Its not even worth discussing how they can fix it at this point.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      The V6 AWD 200 is actually a pretty decent vehicle in concept but way overpriced for what the buyer gets in return for their money.

      The fwd 4-cyl version of the 200 is no match for the Camry, Accord, Altima, Legacy or Sonata, and the 200 should be priced at <$20K for what you get.

      At that price point is where Altima and Camry carry the day with lots of value for the money.

      • 0 avatar
        nickoo

        Fusion 2.5l sports are going for 18 in san diego with rebates everyone qualifies for and 60 months 0 apr. I nearly went out and bought one its such an incredible value. The one i was looking at was silver with the light interior. Perfect for keeping cool.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Good pricing! I don’t think that is nationwide though. Sounds like a loss-leader to gain market-share in the SD area.

          A pretty, young, elementary school teacher from Los Alamos moved to my area and recently bought her first-ever new car, a V6 AWD 200 up in Santa Fe for nearly $36K.

          Man, that’s scary! And so not worth it.

          Her dad paid for it as a gift for her first job after college but I think they would have been better off buying her a Grand Cherokee Laredo 4X4 that uses the same drive-train for that same money.

          • 0 avatar
            nickoo

            No doubt. Paying 36k for a 200 is crazyness, just so many better choices available at 36k.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            I just checked on that “Fusion 2.5l sport”. None in my area but similar goes for $22,300 — on par with the Mazda6 Sport 4-banger/Manual.

            And there are not many of those.

  • avatar
    seanx37

    Does FCA have any current products that are the best in class? Is there a single product that you wouldn’t rather have something else? I had this conversation last night with my sister in law, and friend. Both FCA employees. Except Hellcat Charger, I can’ think of a single one. And FCA is years away from any new product.
    We even ran down the list.
    Grand Cherokee-rather have a Ford Edge sport. Or Nissan Murano.
    Cherokee-Rather have almost any other product in class.
    Renegade-Just awful
    Patriot-Yes, they still sell these.
    Compass-Those two. I don’t know why.
    300-Impala or Cadillac CTS are better.
    200-Accord,Camry,Fusion,Altima,Sonata,Optima. Maybe the new Malibu.
    Ram-Would prefer a Chevy/GMC. Possibly the Toyota
    Charger-Impala.
    Journey-The suckiest car sold in the US. Anything would be a better choice.
    Town and Country-Honda, Toyota, and Kia mike better vans.

    And these terrible products aren’t being replaced because Sergio thought it a good idea to spend billions on Alfa instead of killing it.

    FCA is deep in debt, and not developing new technology, or new product anywhere near fast enough. I think starting a new Chrysler death watch might be needed in about 12-16 months.

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      Sooner. Its that bad. Everything good that happened at chrysler was in the works before the espresso swilling sweater got his mits on their cash with one exception. He is the worst ceo in the automotive world today. Worse than Barra.

      Diesels in jgc and ram 1500. Thats the one good thing that happened under him. Chrysler could have gone to cummins so its not even that big of an accomplishment.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      The JGC doesn’t compete with the Edge or Murano.

      • 0 avatar
        nickoo

        Agreed. Its a legend all in a class of its own. An off road real 4wd SUV with pricing from edge to xt5 and trims and customers to match, along with engine choices and capability that are unmatched by anyone. Its one brilliant flame surrounded by other candles that long bhrned down to nubs.

        • 0 avatar
          seanx37

          But no one drives them off road. Off roaders buy old trucks to beat on. They aren’t spending $40k on a toy. They are being driven by 40-60 yr old women to the grocery store and hair appointments. They actually compete more with the Lexus RX. Purely people movers.

          • 0 avatar
            nickoo

            Doesnt matter. People buy the image. Thats what counts.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            It’s a good thing nobody drives them off road too, because it’s really just been another crossover since it started sharing its platform with the Mercedes Benz ML CUVs. It’s a good thing image buyers are the least perceptive, because the GC SRT I looked at while car shopping was one of the worst vehicles I’ve been exposed to in decades. The packaging was awful and the brake pedal was mounted on a floppy arm that curved 90 degrees to the side, perpendicular to the direction in which it transferred force. I’d expect better of Fiat, and that is saying close to nothing.

            I’ve seen other cars where the master cylinder wasn’t in alignment with the brake pedal, but never one where the lateral shift was made so haphazardly. If such a glaring fault is staring you right in the face and being felt by your foot every time you brake hard, what shortcuts do they take that are out of sight?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      You’re pretty much right, although I could pick some nits on some models.

      And I’ll add this:
      Fiat sales are stalled – 42-46k for 2011-2015, despite the addition of new models to the mix. (I remain interested in the 500X, but probably couldn’t buy one if its 9-spd auto is as bad as elsewhere.)

      Alfa is interesting but irrelevant to the bottom line.

      I wonder if the Fiat venture in the US has made FCA any money yet.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      JGC over an edge and especially mutano

      300 over any other sedan at its price point.

      The 200 is pretty good. I’d take a nicely equipped S or C over most other cars in class.

      Half ton diesel trucks are unique. They have a competitive truck lineup.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      “Does FCA have any current products that are the best in class?”

      Wrangler. JGC. Diesel pickups. Fiat 500. Abarth (different class than the 500). 300. Hellcat. Charger/Challenger. I will concede that most of these are in a class of their own.

      A lot of their other products are near the top of their class, like the Cherokee, Renegade, 200, and the non-diesel pickups.

      New minivans will be out soon, they should be pretty decent.

      Cars are a very personal and emotional purchase, so I can see why none of these would appeal to you. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t good products. Just because a 500 is hands-down better than a Chevy Spark doesn’t mean that you would consider buying either.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Renegade – have you driven one? It looks good on paper, but in my opinion the driving experience and quality don’t live up to the hype.

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          I only drove the Renegade with the turbo and manual. In my opinion, it has the tightest ride of any crossover, firm but not harsh. It’s really leagues above the Rav4 (makes you feel like a bobble head) and the CR-V (are the tires filled with lead?). It would certainly be my choice of crossover for highway runs. It doesn’t wallow, and the steering wheel feels like it is actually connected to the front wheels.

          Maybe the Nismo Juke compares, but I haven’t tried that one.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      “Does FCA have any current products that are the best in class?”

      Chrysler did ok with the RAM 1500 considering the present generation dates back to 2009 with an update for 2013. It’s insane that Sergio failed to put product development money into this profitable, high-volume model.

    • 0 avatar
      Lampredotto

      I had the great misfortune to spend three days last week with a rented previous-gen 200 (well f**k you too, Enterprise). I can say without reservation that it was the saddest little shitbox I’ve driven in years. Raspy, anemic engine. Four speed (!) ConstantHunt ™ automatic. Woozy handling. I assumed I’d been given a three- or four- year old specimen, and was somewhat shocked to discover it was a 2014 model.

      Granted, I’ve driven the new 200 and it’s light-years ahead. But the fact this sad little tomato was in showrooms a year ago is astounding.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        The first-generation 200 was a rebadged Sebring, which was a Daimler-Chrysler product.

        It takes years to design new cars and platforms. FCA was in no position to simply wave a magic wand and replace all of the previous models in one shot. The newer models are a better indication of what to expect going forward.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      While I appreciate your viewpoint, I don’t agree with it. Here’s why:
      * Grand Cherokee — The Ford Edge is less capable overall and has measurably poorer build quality. The Nissan Murano isn’t even in its class, fitting more with the regular Cherokee instead. Personally, I wouldn’t own any of them because the class itself just isn’t my ‘style’.
      * Cherokee — More capable than any other vehicle in its class off-road and very probably in on-road severe weather conditions as well. Personally, I like its looks too, over anything else in its class.
      * Renegade — Actually surprisingly good. Again offers more capability than anything in its class when taking all things into consideration. Remarkably strong off-road for its type; more economical than “stronger” off-roaders while stronger than more economical FWD or AWD models. It also offers a better open air feeling than any of its competitors in that class.
      * Patriot — Still selling, yes. They seem more common now with fleet buyers than individuals though.
      * Compass — Has always been too weak for its size and if I remember correctly they really had to work at it to make a “Trail Rated” version.
      * 300 — Honestly one of the few American branded cars that still looks like it has a luxury background. The Impala is far too generic while the Caddy… honestly I don’t know WHAT Caddy is any more. They certainly don’t look the part of a luxury car and they seem to be trying too hard to be a sport sedan instead.
      * 200 — I’ll admit, this one’s a bit too generic. It’s really hard to tell it apart from any of the others you named opposite it.
      * Ram — Very distinctive in appearance without trying to be a “big-rig wannabe”. Its biggest drawback is that the extended cab version went with shortened back doors instead of retaining the ‘suicide door’ arrangement which was far more efficient and useful. That, and its much too large size go against it.
      * Charger — Not Impala, but not Charger either. Honestly, I see it more like the Dodge Diplomat instead. Or maybe the Plymouth Fury.
      * Journey — It’s more of a less-capable and more rounded version of the Jeep Patriot with perhaps a little more comfortable interior. As a family vehicle it’s really a decent vehicle, but not much more than that.
      * Town and Country/ Caravan — Personally, I simply don’t like either the Toyota or the Kia mini-vans; they look too much like boxier crossovers than real minivans. Interestingly, the T&C/Caravan seems to make a better cargo van than either of the other two.

      Alfa is a legacy sport brand that relied more on its Spyder and coupes than its sport sedans and wagons. They offered pure sport handling with little accommodation for comfort and luxury; much like the earlier Porsches.

      Personally, I love the concept of the 4C and would love to own one, but I already own three vehicles and only have parking space for two. Each serves a different purpose because there is currently NO vehicle sold in the US that combines the capabilities of any two of the three I own. The Fiat 124 could easily replace the Fiat 500, but couldn’t take on the tasks of either my Ford Ranger or my Jeep Wrangler. Jeep is coming out with a Wrangler-based pickup truck fairly soon, but I still question the need for four full doors and would much rather have the 2005 Gladiator concept–which would fully replace both the Ranger and my current Wrangler. I’ll have to wait and see. Were the Ram 700 or Fiat Strada to come available, the 500/Ranger package would be covered with the possible addition of AWD making it a better choice for bad weather as well. I’ll just have to wait and see what comes up in the next few years.

  • avatar
    PentastarPride

    Chrysler needs the Concorde. Dodge needs the Intrepid. Both need to retain its cab-forward DNA, yet modernized (3.6 RWD, tastefully updated interior and exterior). Both would fit right below the 300 and Charger respectively.

    The Model S would have been a good starting point for inspiration, it would have been better if Chrysler just bought out Tesla just for the Model S exterior design just to reincarnate as a modern LH. Sorry, Tesla/EV fans.

    The Chrysler 100? Forget it. It would be like bringing back the PT Cruiser, only this time it’s much uglier. Chrysler is not a marque that needs a subcompact. Its smallest vehicle should be the 200.

    Oh, redo the current 200’s rear end; the 300 needs the 2011 front end back. The 2015 refresh made the front end look bad.

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      Sorry nothing. If chrysler doesnt get their act together, and there is much sentiment from the mob boss and that they will not, they will not be around to even see the 2025 cafe era. Chrysler should have used their cash to buy telsa back when the stock was 30 a share instead of blowing it on Alfa and then used tesla to build their future, or they should have licensed voltec from gm. The espresso swilling sweater has permanently damaged fiat chrysler and it is doubtful they will recover. Bosch builds their only compliance ev at considerable cost. Chrysler is stanly motors harping on the internal explosion engine and the model t electric start is about to hit stores.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      Chrysler needs a new Pacifica, not a new PT. The PT and Prowler were to be Plymouths, hence the retro design.

  • avatar
    dusterdude

    Re “With fuel prices expected to stay at their current level until at least 2020 ” noted in above piece — I think that may be a little optimistic — I’d be surprised if they stay it this level longer than another 12 – 18 months ..

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    FCA is too reliant on Jeep and Ram.

    Ram needs a significant refresh. Jeep isn’t going to be FCA’s saviour, unless it sells off Jeep to pay down debt and invest the money into other products.

    FCA really needs to improve it quality, and the perception that they are sh!t boxes globally. Fiat most profitable markets are developing nations whose economies fluctuate like hell. FCA can’t use these countries as a reliable source of income.

    FCA needs to develop a strategy to woe OECD economies. This is a tough ask as the OECD economies are well catered for by many far better brands.

    FCA need a global midsize pickup, these are printing money for many manufacturers. FCA need a decent SUV that is reliable for the global market. The Grand Cherokee isn’t very reliable. This is a shame as it could be a decent vehicle, instead of a cheap competitor.

    FCA need to learn how to better value add with it’s products. By being the cheapest you skimp. But when you pay bigger bucks you want reliability.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    We’re six years into the FCA era. Are there improvements? Absolutely. But evern the newer products still have that cheap-‘n-cheerful feel that would turn me off of them.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    Chrysler needs to cut some deadwight and move forward. The Patrioit/Compass are junk and need to be replaced at once. Jeep can hit a home run with a good replacement.

    The next-gen minivan is in the works right now, so no need to worry there. No one buys 200s as personal vehicles. I swear every single one I have ever seen has had a little rental barcode on the back window.

    The LX cars are solid, they’ve aged well.

    The real problem though is a 4-cylinder engine, or therefore lack of one. Chrysler is TERRIBLE in the 4-cyl game. Honestly, if they don’t want to spend the money to develop a decent engine, they should just buy 4-Cyl engines from GM, Ford, Toyota or Honda.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Why are the Patriot/Compass junk but the Renegade and Cherokee are not? True the Chrysler PM/MK trace their roots to the Mitsu/Chrysler GS “global” car platform, but both the Renegade and Cherokee do the same with Fiat car platforms. So why are the GS derived ones junk and the Fiat derived ones not?

      Renegade is an adaption of a Fiat/Opel developed small car platform which debuted in 2005, which the next Compass is based on as well.

      “The Small Platform[1] or SCCS platform (Small Common Components and Systems platform), was jointly developed by Opel and Fiat for subcompact, front wheel drive and four wheel drive cars. It was first used on the Fiat Grande Punto, which was unveiled in 2005. Vehicles based on this platform are assembled in Italy, Germany, Spain, Serbia, Turkey and Russia.”

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

      Cherokee rides on the Fiat Compact platform.

      “The Compact platform (also known as C-Evo) was developed by engineers of the Fiat group for the construction of small family cars (compact cars) and large family cars (mid-size cars) with front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. The first incarnation of this platform was the Alfa Romeo Giulietta which was unveiled in 2010.[1] Fiat has invested 100 million euros into the construction of the Compact Platform. [2]”

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiat_Compact_platform#Long_wheelbase_version

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Although the 2012 Jeep Compass finished 3rd in a three car comparison by Car and Driver – they didn’t exactly eviscerate it.

        http://www.caranddriver.com/comparisons/2012-nissan-juke-sv-awd-vs-2011-mini-cooper-s-countryman-all4-2012-jeep-compass-latitude-4×4-comparison-test

        I actually think it would have been well received by enthusiasts if it hadn’t been wearing a Jeep badge.

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