Tuesday Could Shed Light on Marchionne's Master Plan, or Not

Mark Stevenson
by Mark Stevenson
tuesday could shed light on marchionne s master plan or not

Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, could shed light on the company’s uncertain future this Tuesday when the company reports earnings. However, as the Detroit Free Press reports, Marchionne may not take the opportunity to clear the air, which would leave employees at FCA plants wondering about their futures for months to come.

The sweatered one has already stated in no uncertain terms that the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart will get the axe. Just when that will happen, and what product will fill freed-up plant capacity and dealer lots, remains a guessing game.

A number of challenges lay ahead as FCA tries to shore up its financials. One main issue is that FCA has more debt than cash on hand. In order to fix that problem, Marchionne wants to ditch products that aren’t high-margin trucks and SUVs. That plan could leave FCA vulnerable to fluctuations in the price of fuel and, should gas prices go up at the pump, FCA’s two brightest assets — Jeep and Ram — could quickly turn into liabilities.

This coming Tuesday could be telling of how FCA looks to alleviate the fears of company stakeholders, how it plans to shore up its financials, and where it plans to position itself to either acquire or be acquired by another automaker.

Keep an eye on this space. Tuesday might be a wild ride.

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4 of 43 comments
  • Jeff S Jeff S on Apr 24, 2016

    Contract the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart out to the Chinese. Cheaper labor. The Chrysler 200 is a good car but it is in a crowded field. Cheaper manufacturing would lower the price of the Dart and 200 and at least give them a competitive advantage on price. The worst that could happen is that Chrysler would discontinue both and rebadge a competitors brand. Chrysler needs to put any additional develop costs into a new Ram and newer Jeeps that are not based on Fiats. Since Chrysler has already spent the costs to develop new Alfas at least use the platform on any new midsize and compact cars and crossovers with the Chrysler and Dodge nameplates even if Chrysler outsources the production of these vehicles.

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Apr 25, 2016

    Eventually Chrysler will stop making the full size rear wheel drive 300's and Chargers. Like the Crown Victoria, Grand Marquis,and Town Car they will fade away as the prior generation stops buying them. FCA is making money on them now with few changes but eventually they will fade away. Most of the law enforcement agencies around where I live have gone to Explorers with few of the police packaged Tauruses and few Chargers. You still see a few police and taxi Crown Victorias but they are becoming less common. Crossovers have been eating away at the sales of cars and will continue to do so. Chrysler needs to keep some small and midsize cars in their lineup to meet fleet fuel standards and also in case sales of big pickups and suvs take a nose dive when fuel prices go up. Having said that FCA doesn't have to manufacture these vehicles themselves.

  • Matt3319 Matt3319 on Apr 25, 2016

    I have a great idea. And it's a simple one. Invite all the shuttered nameplate to become one big company. Pontiac, SAAB, Plymouth, Saturn, Hummer, Mercury and even Merkur. That company could be golden. Then they can go buy FCA. On a serious side, I don't get why people aren't buying chrylsers. I owned a 2015 200S V6 AWD and loved it. It was sleek super fast and reliable in the 18 mo the I owned it. No really wanted a 300S but it was just out of my budget. I did trade it because I needed a SUV. I bought a Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk. These products are state of the art and are high quality for the price. Yes I had a bunch of cash on the hood for both cars and that matters. But the quality is great IMO. Love the UConnect and the 3.2L V6.

  • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Apr 25, 2016

    "I don’t get why people aren’t buying chrylsers" "reliable in the 18 mo the I owned it" You kinda answered your own question there.