By on October 26, 2016

2015 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4x4 EcoDiesel

Ram’s September sales surge grew its share of the full-size pickup segment, but only after Fiat Chrysler Automobiles threw incentives at buyers that easily topped those of its Detroit Three rivals.

Expect that to continue, says FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne. While some automakers, namely Ford, have slowed production to keep pace with lower demand, FCA sees an opportunity to spend more to sell more.

Speaking to industry analysts recently, Marchionne said FCA won’t slow down production of Ram trucks, nor will it ease up on the incentives that brought record sales last month, Wards Auto reports.

“I have no indication that would suggest we’re going to take production down in Q4,” Marchionne said. “You can use whatever definition of capacity utilization you’d like, but we’re over 100 (percent) of that number.”

The automaker aims to introduce its next-generation Ram 1500 in January 2018. That model comes with the tightest of timelines, so much so that Marchionne cut engineers some slack and allowed them to make some of their own decisions. In the meantime, Rams will continue to be sold with a pile of cash on the hood.

Average incentive spending in the Ram pickup range grew $1,100 between August and September, meaning customers enjoyed discounts averaging $7,100 per vehicle last month. Compare that to the roughly $5,200 average for the Ford F-150 and $5,650 for the Chevrolet Silverado. Ram sales jumped 29 percent over the previous September, boosting market share from 20 percent a year earlier to 25 percent.

Expect those boosted incentives to continue for the next 90 days.

“We’ve taken a very hard look at our level of penetration in some of the key truck areas in the U.S.,” Marchionne said. “We spent a lot of time with the management team yesterday to try to understand how to pitch the position for the next 90 days.”

Despite industry-wide incentives topping those seen during the recession, Marchionne is so pleased at Ram’s performance that he doesn’t care about his dead or dying small cars. After appealing to the industry, no automaker stepped forward to offer a small car for Marchionne to rebadge. That’s okay, he claims.

Failing to find a replacement for the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart is the same as a “rounding error,” he claims, meaning it won’t impact the automaker’s balance sheet. The public loves trucks and SUVs, so why worry?

“We need to recognize this is not a fashion shift from passenger cars into utility vehicles and pickup trucks; it is a structural change,” he said.

FCA is notoriously capricious with its lineup, so it wouldn’t be surprising if the death of Chrysler and Dodge small cars isn’t permanent.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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88 Comments on “Sergio: Ram Incentives Are Here to Stay, and Who Cares If No One Builds Us a Small Car?...”


  • avatar
    Higheriq

    Incentives are like drugs – they are hard to kick. EVERY manufacturer would have to agree to eliminate them before they ever go away.

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    I agree with SM on this one. Why market cars that nobody wants and that don’t make any money? It’s a sucker’s game.
    Wouldn’t be surprised if other brands follow his lead.

  • avatar
    mcg

    Love my Ram, keep them cummin!

    Making a 2017 Dart makes as much sense as making an Aspen in 2008.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “rounding error”: What a nice way to treat your development team’s efforts.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      Has nothing to do with the development team, or with hurting people’s feelings. “Rounding error” refers to what those cars contributed to the bottom line.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      He’s on the Haterade for the 200 and Dart. “These aren’t very good, that’s the problem.” Followed by “Oh well, who gives a f*ck, not like we were going to sell any anyway.”

      He’s the guy who fails a community college class and responds with “I didn’t like it anyway.”

      Doesn’t matter if you “like” what you’re doing or not, you need to be a full-line automaker and you can’t do that without a smallish car. And last time I checked, Honda was selling quite a lot of Civics and Accords. FCA has nothing in either segment now.

      • 0 avatar
        npaladin2000

        So you expect them to essentially waste money building and selling unprofitable cars simply to make sure they have a presense in every potential market niche, no matter how small, no matter how much it’s shrinking, and no matter how uncompetitive they are in it anyway?

        That’s stupidity. That’s throwing bad money after worse money. Sergio’s got limited resources, and killing the C segment cars frees up those resources to make more competitive, more popular, and frankly more profitable vehicles.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          So in your view, sedans (mid-size and compact) are a “market niche,” but Alfa Romeo is a good idea which needs lots of development money? Small Italian brands are by nature entirely niche.

          Stop being daft.

          “That’s throwing bad money after worse money.”

          Also, crappy Fiat models, are those not niche?

          “killing the C segment cars frees up those resources to make more competitive, more popular, and frankly more profitable vehicles.”

          Like the Alfa Giulia sedan? How about the 4C?

          • 0 avatar
            npaladin2000

            I’m not your son, I’m way too old for that unless you owned a first-gen ‘vette. Yes, C and D segment sedans are turning into a market niche with their decline in favor of subcompact and compact CUVs. Yes, it makes sense to pour money into the Giulia platform, since it also underpins the Stelvio (a crossover SUV) as well as several future Dodge and Chrysler models (LX replacements, possible Journey replacement, etc). It’s all about getting the most bang for the investment dollar. Killing the Dart and 200 allows FCA to build more Cherokees (same platform) with relatively minimal re-tooling. Cherokees sell better and for more than the Dart and 200. Simple economics.

            You want to harp on Italy, go ahead, but Maserati is extremely high margin, so that makes sense too. Fiat doesn’t necessarily, but the money they spent on the 500x (a subcompact crossover) also went into the Jeep Renegade and new Compass, which DOES make sense. The money going into the Giulia will also end up in the Stelvio, and is intended to end up in at least 2 Dodges, so that makes sense as well. Besides, FCA needs Alfa, they don’t have a premium BMW/Caddy-fighting brand, and they need one.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            It all works great, npaladin…until the next recession, or when gas prices go up again.

            When that happens – and it’s a “when,” not an “if,” FCA will be well and truly boned.

            Unless, of course, they figure out how to sell a Jeep compact sedan.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I don’t know how they’re going to sort their average fuel economy and emissions requirements either when they only sell V6/V8 trucks and some CUVs.

            AND

            People from various nations and companies have been trying to hock Alfa around the world since the 1920’s. They’ve never been more than niche, and they’re never going to stand up to BMW. Ever.

          • 0 avatar
            npaladin2000

            This time it’s CUVs, not BOFs. The fuel economy difference between cars and CUVs is minimal, so it won’t be an issue.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            All relevant concerns, Corey…if you’re in it for the long haul.

            But if you’re just looking to pump the stock price up and then sell the company, none of that matters.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Who’s gonna buy it then, I wonder. The Chinese? It would give Wangxiang or whatever a perfect entry into this market.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Who buys them?

            Anyone with a check, I’d think. Sergio clearly is taking the “Honey Badger don’t care” approach.

            A Chinese company would make perfect sense, though – it’s an instant dealer network and they have product base that is (at least currently) selling.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            @npaladin:

            “The fuel economy difference between cars and CUVs is minimal, so it won’t be an issue.”

            EPA ratings for the Dart and Jeep Renegade, both built on the same platform and using the same 2.4 engine:

            Dart
            23/35 EPA

            Renegade
            21/29 EPA

            For giggles…here are some more vehicles built on the same platform…

            Honda HR-V
            27/32

            Honda Fit
            32/38

            Mazda CX3
            27/32

            Toyota Yaris iA
            31/41

            No, it isn’t minimal.

          • 0 avatar
            npaladin2000

            In the real world it’s minimal (who cares about EPA’s fantasy-land tests?). CUVs also get driven more conservatively just because of their nature (unless you have a Cayenne or a Juke anyway, heh). Besides, CUVs get more of a CAFE break than sedans anyway.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            “In the real world it’s minimal (who cares about EPA’s fantasy-land tests?).”

            You really don’t understand how government fuel economy regulation works, per this statement. The EPA cares about the difference, because the EPA is the government. Please do some reading.

          • 0 avatar
            npaladin2000

            The EPA is not the government. The EPA is some dude that tells automakers to go stick their car on a treadmill set to 50 MPH and let him know how it does. Then he does math to determine how much fuel people will consume, and Congress says “yay!”. “Trucks” (including CUVs) use a different formula, but are also driven differently in real life. Learn how science works…and how the government works (or doesn’t work, in this case). Do some reading.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            “The EPA is not the government.”

            Okay, now read the following closely, then stop with your nonsense.

            “The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or sometimes USEPA) is an agency of the Federal government (that’s the government) of the United States which was created for the purpose of protecting human health and the environment by writing and enforcing regulations based on laws passed by Congress (that’s also the government).”

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Wow, so EPA is just a guy? Ethan Paul Adams, here to make your automobile work out, to protect your freedumb and all.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Why is it that Mopar and FCA loyalists always have the least grip on reality?

          • 0 avatar
            npaladin2000

            Well, there might be two guys. Because, you know, one of them might take the day off, and you never know, if that office was empty, all the cars in the US might have to pull over for the day because the EPA wasn’t watching and all. :)

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            That’s a nice deflection for being totally wrong about what the EPA is.

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            None of this matters. President Trump will put a muzzle on the EPA and abolish CAFE.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            “I don’t know how they’re going to sort their average fuel economy and emissions requirements either when they only sell V6/V8 trucks and some CUVs.”

            “You really don’t understand how government fuel economy regulation works, per this statement. The EPA cares about the difference, because the EPA is the government. Please do some reading.”

            Corey, it’s you who doesn’t understand how the regulations work, or much else in this industry. You should probably stick to insurance or whatever it is you do. The way you talk down to people about things you know little about makes you a very irritating commenter here.

            Building Darts or other small cars for North America won’t help FCA hit CAFE targets because the rules aren’t the same as they were before 2011. FCA actually CAN hit CAFE targets more easily with CUVs and trucks because they have to hit lower targets. Small cars have to hit their own targets which is also adjusted for footprint. With those targets now being so high, the investments required for them to hit the 2025 numbers eats far into the already small margins on small cars. FCA is going heavy into hybridization of future models in more profitable segments to hit the targets.

            Customers are shying away from the small segments, dealers don’t want to push them when they have bigger gross-profit vehicles, and margins are being squeezed hard. The future of the small car segment will be far more homogeneous, and there will likely a reduction of players as it becomes less and less profitable.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        You’re wrong, Corey, the Ultimate Plan is to sell a Jeep compact four door sedan. Jeepiest Jeep EVVVAAAAAAHHHHH!!!

      • 0 avatar
        MrIcky

        “Doesn’t matter if you “like” what you’re doing or not, you need to be a full-line automaker and you can’t do that without a smallish car…”

        I’m not being a smart-ass, I seriously mean this: why? Honda isn’t a full line automaker but you used them as a comparison. Where is there a rule that says you have to be a full line automaker to be successful. VW isn’t (well they may be through their complicated web of owned companies) but they’re fighting for biggest auto-maker on earth. I just don’t think you have to be full-line to be successful. Now if you aren’t full line, you may not be able to compare apples to apples for market share or other metrics, but that doesn’t preclude you from being successful. And by successful, I mean profitable as a going-concern.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          ‘Honda isn’t a full line automaker but you used them as a comparison.”

          In a sense they are…they sell everything from subcompacts to pickup trucks (yes, I know the Ridgeline isn’t a *real* pickup).

          • 0 avatar
            MrIcky

            “‘Honda isn’t a full line automaker but you used them as a comparison.”

            In a sense they are…they sell everything from subcompacts to pickup trucks (yes, I know the Ridgeline isn’t a *real* pickup).”

            Well even beyond pickups, FCA has a commercial line as well with Iveco and commercial vans and the power company trucks, etc.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Good point.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          You need to be full-line to be a mainstream automaker. Honda is full line, not sure where you’re getting they aren’t. The makes which aren’t mainstream or full-line are specialty/luxury/sports brands.

          • 0 avatar
            npaladin2000

            Honda has never been full line until recently but has been mainstream for a long time now. Subaru is still not full-line but there’s no way you can say that they’re not mainstream at this point, though it is a relatively recent development

            Tell you what, please define “full line” for us.

          • 0 avatar
            MrIcky

            I don’t think you can call any company in N. America full line without a fleshed out truck brand.

            I’ve always thought the definition of full-line is they can sell you a vehicle to fit basically any need. With no commercial or no truck line, I don’t see Honda there (light passenger vehicles, period). I see the big 3, daimler, nissan, and toyota to really be truly full line. VW probably is but I’m too lazy to look up all their vehicles- I think they own MAN which would put them up there too.

  • avatar
    npaladin2000

    It’s not really surprising to see incentives grow during the final years of a model, particularly when people know that a new model is just over the horizon. You HAVE to inventivise sales a bit more in that situation to keep some of the potential buyers from going into wait-and-see mode.

    As far as the small cars, he’s not the first to just kill them off, and I doubt he’ll be the last. FCA just had the least popular C- and D-segment cars out there at the time, and it made it easy to kill them, particularly since they were unprofitable anyway. Why keep making unprofitable cars that don’t sell well, when you can make profitable CUVs that will sell instead?

    • 0 avatar
      jpolicke

      No denying that FCA is making enough money to be able to justify their neglect of the small car business NOW. That “gas is cheap, people love big cars” mindset worked in the past until things changed in the 70’s and it suddenly didn’t anymore. That put Iacocca in front of Congress begging for a lifeline. Gas prices will change again; who will Sergio go to: the Italians, the Dutch?

      Also, I have no idea how they intend to comply when the new CAFE requirement kicks in.

      • 0 avatar
        npaladin2000

        Back then people were buying BOF SUVs that got 20 MPG highway. Now people are buying (and making) what are essentially FWD wagons with high suspension. Cars. Which, while they do get fewer MPGs than actual sedans, the difference isn’t nearly as pronounced. On the other hand, the difference in profitability IS very pronounced. Besides, it’s easy to convert a CUV into a hatchback style car..since that’s what it really is anyway.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        “Gas prices will change again; who will Sergio go to: the Italians, the Dutch?”

        Not unless the Germans or Dutch are in China…

      • 0 avatar

        CAFE, has a separate section for trucks also the new standard adjusts for footprint. It’s fine as long as you build fuel efficient trucks. The little one’s balance out the big ones. The problems is if you build inefficient cars and trucks.

  • avatar
    nguyenvuminh

    Macchione is a finance guy. He’s not into cars like some other car mfg CEOs. He could easily sells cabbages if that is what “makes sense”. For many investors, that’s not an issue. For his customers, not sure he’s the right guy.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Just put Sergio’s face on it.

    valicogroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/what-me-worry.png

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    “We need to recognize this is not a fashion shift from passenger cars into utility vehicles and pickup trucks; it is a structural change.”

    I don’t know Sergio, after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita there were some excellent discounts to be had on used trucks.

    • 0 avatar
      Hank

      Yep. Another time Chrysler nearly went bankrupt because it was gas hog heavy in its lineup and had no compelling efficient vehicles. It’s easy and short-sided to assume he’s right when the gas station across from my office is selling regular at $1.79. But I’ve got a memory of paying $4.28 in NY just one car loan ago…

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    …and Sergio Marchionne goes all in on there never being another recession…or another gas price increase…

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      The business is still fragile and Marchionne is still in the process of turning it around.

      He’s prioritizing margins because they need the money. The short term needs to take priority over the long term for now because the company could fail before the long term ever happens. It would not make sense to operate Toyota based solely upon short- and medium-term objectives, but it makes perfect sense for FCA.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Exactly, because the plan is to sell the company.

        FCA won’t survive long term without small and medium sized family cars.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          I seriously doubt that. He’s trying to build the company and ensure that it doesn’t die.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            To me, every sign points to FCA sacrificing long term success for short term bottom line.

            …right out of the game plan book for any company looking to sell itself…

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            To me, you have no sound reason to believe that.

            Are you aware that the company barely broke even last year?

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            I go with my gut, PCH.

            You go with yours.

            Neither of us are named “Warren Buffett.”

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Er, my background is in finance and I read the financial statements.

            I am not going with my gut, I am looking at the numbers. It’s clear to me now that you haven’t looked at the numbers.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            “I go with my gut”

            I f*cking hate that expression and its usage has disgustingly crept up the soc-econ ladder in recent years.

            My gut can only impede my thinking if I’m hungry or go too gonzo on my Hunky food; it can never assist it.

        • 0 avatar
          MrIcky

          “Exactly, because the plan is to sell the company.

          FCA won’t survive long term without small and medium sized family cars.”

          I’m asking this question again to a slightly different statement. Why? That seems to be dogma, but people’s preferences have been steadily moving toward CUVs and away from cars. Why could you not base a business on small and medium CUVs? It seems like entrenched dogma around here but it seems to be based on assumption.

          In N. America at least, trucks are vastly more profitable than cars even with incentives. Why aren’t manufacturers without a profitable truck line questioned? FCA has a small and medium car line, they just sell them other places than N. America because N. America isn’t really interested.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            “That seems to be dogma, but people’s preferences have been steadily moving toward CUVs and away from cars. Why could you not base a business on small and medium CUVs?”

            You CAN do it…when the economy’s doing OK and gas prices are low. When the opposite is true, people buy by the pound…and what they buy by the pound better be VERY appealing.

            Think back to the 2008 recession. Who survived it best of the domestics? It was Ford…partially because they refinanced their debt while the credit markets were functional, but also because they had fairly appealing small and medium sized cars to sell. The Focus (yes, the not-so-appealing reboot of the first-gen car) and Fusion actually began to sell BETTER as the recession went on. Why? Because both were fundamentally decent and reasonably up to date cars.

            GM (we’ll just leave Pontiac and Saturn out) had Cobalts, and that nameplate went right down the toilet as the recession hit…because it was a crappy car. The W-bodied Impala did OK, but it was a fleet queen, so who knows how appealing it was to consumers? Their only truly successful midsize was the Malibu in 2008. Why? Because even with all the garbage going on with GM, the 2008 Malibu was a very competitive design. Their competitive stuff did well and the noncompetitive stuff died.

            And we all know what happened at Chrysler. Their stuff was uncompetitive and died in the marketplace the minute the recession started. But at least when sales of the Durango and Ram pickups went south, they had SOMETHING crappy to sell. Now they don’t even have Calibers or Sebrings. Yikes.

            FCA is taking a HUGE chance, in my opinion.

          • 0 avatar
            MrIcky

            @FreedMike, that’s a fair point regarding the small car quality, but:

            In 2008, 2009 and 2010, 2 (or 3 depending on source) of the top 10 selling vehicles in N. America were trucks.

            In 2007 before the crash- those trucks were in roughly the same sales places.

            In 2015, the only thing that’s changed is the Ram is now high on the list.

            Recession or no, the list looks mighty similar year to year. The big losers during the recession were the big suvs (and those have never really recovered). Otherwise all sales slowed and how much cash the manufacturer had banked going in was a far better determining factor on where they ended up after the recession then their small car product line. That’s a popular belief that isn’t really born out by what actually sold.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      He seems to think that, when the next recession hits, people will want more efficient crossovers and trucks, not sedans.

      No one knows for sure what will happen, but his reasoning makes some sense. When a recession happens, people will want cheap and economical transportation, but they will also still prefer crossovers to cars if the carrying costs are similar. FCA has plenty of small economical crossovers to sell.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        True, FCA has smaller, cheaper CUVs to sell. Problem is, when things go south, people start buying by the pound…and a CUV costs more per pound than the compact car it’s based on.

        • 0 avatar

          That would seem to open room for deep discounts. If your willing to blow out your CUV’s cheaper then the competion

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            “That would seem to open room for deep discounts.”

            Well, then, they can kiss their profit margins goodbye.

          • 0 avatar
            npaladin2000

            “Well, then, they can kiss their profit margins goodbye.”

            True but profit margins for sedans are garbage anyway, and that way they don’t have to spend good money on garbage sedans for garbage profit margins. They can just cut the CUV prices instead, and still end up in the positive column overall. And I bet customers will prefer that situation too.

        • 0 avatar
          sutherland555

          FreedMike Right on about the CUV vs compact car cost. Look at the Civic vs CRV as an example. Both based on the same platform but the average CRV (33-40k CAD) costs WAY more than the average Civic (20-25k CAD). The same metric goes for D segment to mid sized CUVs.

          FCA is screwed if they don’t have the C and D segment cars when the economy goes south and/or gas prices shoot up as they inevitably will.

          This is in addition to how little new product they have in the pipe. If i remember correctly, they delayed the new Jeep platform by 2 years. The current Jeep platform is already pretty old. As I recall it dates back to the Daimler days. The Ram platform is pretty old from what I gather as well.

          The whole thing just screams buying time and crossing fingers, hoping that a financial saviour comes along before it all falls apart.

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          FreedMike,

          A CUV costs more per pound to purchase, but not to build. Think about that for a minute.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            You’re right, but I’m looking at it from the consumer’s point of view.

            The question isn’t what manufacturers want to sell – it’s what consumers are willing *and able* to buy. In a recession, no matter how much manufacturers *want* to sell higher-profit, higher-priced CUVs, versus a plainer sedan, the fact is that fewer *buyers* will be able to buy them.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            FreedMike,

            That’s where incentives come in.

            In the event of a recession, FCA can afford to price their CUVs like sedans, because they cost as much to make as sedans. They are also masters at fine-tuning incentives from month to month as the economy evolves.

            They are doing exactly that as the pickup market stabilizes. They just keep moving the incentives up and down to meet their sales targets. They make money at any price level, so it’s all a matter of figuring-out what incentive will make them the most money.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        What happens in a recession is automakers sell less vehicles across the board. A recession doesn’t magically convert truck and CUV customers into small sedan customers, nor does a recession make small cars more profitable.

        Through the recession, Ford still lived on truck profits.

        The reason most automakers still compete in those segments is to try and capture the customer throughout their life cycle, but increasingly customers are making their entry level purchases in compact CUVs. So where a company really needs to focus is on the price point to capture entry level buyers.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    Sergio, listen to Mazer Rackham from Ender’s Game:

    “Since when do you have to tell the enemy when he has won?”

  • avatar
    npaladin2000

    You know, I think a lot of people around here are just annoyed that they can’t get Darts and 200s for cheap anymore. :)

  • avatar
    bluegoose

    If gas goes through the roof they will ready the Tipo for US production. There is no use building a compact of midsize Dodge or Chrysler car when nobody wants to buy them.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      Good point. Sergio does have a backup in those crappy little Euro things he could bring over if need be. Building more crappy little American things would be wastefully redundant.

      Rambois would buy them in times of high gas prices. So would small woodland creatures.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Well, I suppose he could *try* to bring out the Tipo or Punto as Dodges or Chryslers…after spending a boatload of money and months’ (years’?) lead time to certify them, and then see if folks would buy them…after having declaring themselves dead in that segment and abandoning it years before. I suppose Dollar would buy them.

        Bottom line: if the market shifts, these guys won’t have much to sell.

        Unless…they find someone to merge with.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          You’re not going to understand what Marchionne is doing if you don’t appreciate the fact that the company is weak today.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            I’d say my arguments actually illustrate just how weak the company is today, PCH…and that their best hope is to find someone to merge with or sell themselves to.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I’m not sure how building a small car that can’t compete in a market that is (a) crowded with them and (b) shrinking could possibly help a company that is working through a turnaround and juggling limited resources.

            The funny thing is that I’m sure that you don’t, either. You want FCA to plan for an oil crunch that is probably decades away, when it has to prioritize making it through the next 3-5 years. You might as well scold a homeless guy for not funding his 401k.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      “If gas goes through the roof they will ready the Tipo for US production”

      Did you make this up, or do you have a source you can cite?

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        I think that it’s fair to surmise that FCA would modify a current or planned European-market compact if it needed one quickly. Why would it do otherwise?

        • 0 avatar
          npaladin2000

          Because that would prove Corey wrong, and like most of the B&B, Corey desprately wants to be right. :)

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Of course, FCA *can* “modify a current or planned European-market compact if it needed one quickly”.

          This, of course, is *after* they haven’t been selling a compact at all for some time, as a result of *admitting their compacts sucked, and publicly and loudly abandoning the whole segment*.

          And meanwhile, the same Corollas, Civics, Cruzes, Sentras, Imprezas, Focuses, Elantras, et al, that beat the previous “European-market compact” Dart in the marketplace like a red headed stepchild have been selling all this time, and are still for sale.

          I smell sales success!

  • avatar
    dwford

    The reason they don’t seem small or midsize cars is that for DECADES Chrysler has never stuck with those market segments. Yes, they have had cars in them, but their commitment has been shaky, and they don’t keep consistent names over time. GM and Ford finally figured out to keep the same name from one generation to the next, even if the last generation was mediocre (2015 Malibu). Customers don’t trust them to stand behind their cars with future development, so every car is a poor investment in the eyes of the customers.

  • avatar
    matt3319

    Chrysler would have kept on selling the 200 if it wasn’t called the 200 for its second generation. Just like they did with the new Pacifica. If they could have named it something different than 200, which makes everyone think of the previous POS. How about Conquest or Chrysler Plummet??

    Same goes for the Dart. I recall the pre-rusted 70’s POS. They should have gone with Swinger or Diplomat!!!

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