Fiat Chrysler Spends $1.5 Billion on Next-Generation Ram; Hands Chrysler 200 December Death Notice

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
fiat chrysler spends 1 5 billion on next generation ram hands chrysler 200 december

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles knows what models bring home the bacon, so there won’t be many corporate tears shed over its decision to axe the Chrysler 200.

Yesterday, the automaker announced $1.48 billion in funding to retool its Sterling Heights, Michigan assembly plant, paving the way for the next generation of Ram trucks. To free up space for lucrative pickup production, FCA just sent the 200 on the long walk to the gallows.

Ram production will move to Sterling Heights from the Warren assembly plant to beef up Ram production. (A Warren announcement will come later, FCA says.) Next-generation models arrive for 2018, and FCA can’t have a problem product stemming the flow of vehicles from its surging truck brand.

So, the automaker will pull the plug on the 200 in December. With its sales in the gutter, the 200 is that guy on the life raft who doesn’t do anything useful, but drinks a lot of water. FCA plans to bash the similarly underperforming Dodge Dart with an oar in September, making room at its Belvidere, Illinois plant for Jeep Cherokee production.

FCA just sank more than $1 billion into its golden child, the staggeringly hot Jeep brand. Who can blame them? If it sells like happy promises at election time, an automaker would be stupid not to throw cash at it.

By Christmas, FCA won’t have a compact or midsize car in its stable — a first for the company, and something that would have been unthinkable just a couple of decades ago.

CEO Sergio Marchionne’s plan to outsource small car production to another automaker hit a brick wall when no one showed up to dance. With no partner announced, FCA’s non-truck/crossover/SUV lineup will consist of the aging LX platform full-sizers and the Fiat 500.

Just our two cents: TTAC writers agree that Sergio should court Mazda for the honor of building his castoffs. (Feast your eyes on our concept of a Mazda3-based Dart replacement.)

Join the conversation
6 of 90 comments
  • VoGo VoGo on Jul 27, 2016

    Dodge = dead brand walking.

    • See 1 previous
    • Heavy handle Heavy handle on Jul 28, 2016

      @Lou_BC I don't. As I've stated before, the Charger and Challenger are what saved Dodge. They sell to real customers for real money, unlike all the "0 down 96 month financing" crud that were cancelled. There will be a few lean years for the Dodge brand (not the dealers, they are doing fine), but we should see the new RWD mid-size soon, and a Pacifica-based crossover.

  • George Taramas George Taramas on Jul 28, 2016

    Now its a good time to bring the new fiat tipo to the us. Call it the new chrysler 100, price it well and you have a winner against the nissan versa and many other competitors.

    • See 1 previous
    • George Taramas George Taramas on Jul 28, 2016

      @heavy handle Like you said. It gets great reviews because its a very good and beautiful car. In many european countries its the second best selling fiat, behind the 500,outselling the 500x, 500L and the aging punto. The point is that fca needs a car like tipo in the u.s.

  • Jimbo1126 Even my mother, certainly no big car fan, commented that the Mark Vi was the ugliest car she'd ever seen.38,391 in 1980 to 38,398 in 1981 is an increase of 7. :)
  • Kwik_Shift Important consideration when choosing your next vehicle. Its not only your own death, or of your passengers, but the possible lifetime of crippling injuries.
  • Teddyc73 Can we all once and for all stop calling this things "tacos"? Please!
  • David S. Bear Tooth and Chief Joseph highways.
  • StormEagle 400 miles range