By on May 30, 2018

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne, due to retire in less than a year’s time, will lay out the automaker’s future on Friday. Well, the next five years of its future — and we all know how malleable those plans can be.

According to a Bloomberg report, sources with knowledge of the plan say the near future contains far fewer Chryslers for those living outside the U.S., and no Fiats for those who are.

Not surprisingly, the bulk of FCA’s five-year strategy allegedly involves boosting the automaker’s strengths. That means Jeep, though the Ram brand helps pay a large portion of the company’s rent in North America. Globally, Jeep is FCA’s breadmaker, valued higher than the automaker itself, though Marchionne hopes to build Maserati into its own juggernaut, the sources claim.

What does the upcoming product plan, scheduled for a reveal at the Balocco test track near Turin on June 1st, mean for domestic buyers? It’s possible the threadbare Chrysler brand will become a North America-only brand. Meanwhile, the incredibly shrinking Fiat marque will eventually disappear from these shores, the sources claim.

Automotive News‘ Larry P. Vellequette predicts Marchionne will go a step further, killing off the storied (and now faded to a ghost) Chrysler brand altogether. It’s not difficult to share this opinion. There’s only two models in the brand’s stable right now, three if you include the Pacifica Hybrid as a standalone. Marchionne’s been cagey about the ancient 300’s future, rarely mentioning it when speaking of the 2021 platform swap bound for the Dodge Challenger and Charger. A mild refresh could come before its demise.

Not only that, we’ve seen no evidence of the Cherokee-based midsize crossover planned for a 2019 release. Under the previous plan, a full-size crossover would join that model for 2021. Two crossovers and a minivan? That’s some heritage…

As for Fiat, the brand’s re-entry into North America should appear in dictionaries next to “failure to launch.” Dealers can’t sell them, don’t want to have them, and buyers heartily agree. Fiat’s U.S. sales tumbled each year since the brand’s 2012 peak (its first full year on the market.) The introduction of the attractive 124 Spider roadster hasn’t set the brand on fire, nor does it look like greater standard power in the tiny 500 will do much to budge that model’s sales needle. It’s a dead brand… driving.

Another possible plank in FCA’s near-term plan is the consolidation of the Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands into a singly entity — at least in financial reports. It’s common knowledge that Marchionne wants a value-boosting spinoff for his Italian luxo-brands, but only after the divisions can stand on their own.

“The way we see it now, it’s almost impossible, if not impossible, to see a spin-off of Alfa Romeo/Maserati,” the CEO said last year, “these are two entities that are immature and in a development phase.”

As Bloomberg‘s report hasn’t been confirmed, we’ll just have to wait until Friday to see what brands our driving futures contain.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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49 Comments on “Expect a Future Fiat Chrysler With a Lot Less Fiats and Chryslers: Report...”


  • avatar
    CoastieLenn

    I can’t believe that Fiat and Alfa are still here anyway. I like Alfa but it’s so niche, it makes Volvo look like Honda. Fiat, while a nice idea, never stood a chance here.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    Just make the brand Jeep and Rams exclusively already. With the exception of the minivan, I think everything else fiat Chrysler has going on is not long for this world.

    Shame too, Alfa Romeo and Masarati could be a great brands if they had the resources to develop a larger/ crossover heavy line of autos.

    • 0 avatar
      CoastieLenn

      More people took deliver of the Levante than I ever thought would have done so. Maser sold ~5400 Levante’s in 2017. 5500ish Ghibli’s found homes in 2017. Sales show that Maserati’s limited market is kind to the CUV. Someone should scoop up Maserati from under FCA’s dying carcass before it’s too late.

  • avatar
    Nick_515

    Dal here’s one for you

    delaware.craigslist.org/cto/d/2002-bmw-325-prem-conv-5/6603294464.html

  • avatar
    Mitchell Leitman

    As written, the article suggests that Chryslers and Fiats will only be sold in the US. I think you mean that there will be no Fiats in the US.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Showing off that gorgeous Chrysler 300C just makes me think of my greater fear that the current LD platform eventually gets replaced by something based on the Giulia and having a twin turbo V6 as top engine choice.

    That would be like a Charger as built by the guys who brought you the Kia Stinger.

    • 0 avatar
      TwoBelugas

      the car-loving experts at the EPA are doing their best to make sure that 300c become so expensive to sell it will die as soon as possible.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        No, TwoBelugas, Chrysler is doing that by refusing to move the 300 off a 20 year old platform or give it some current engines. The new 2.0T and the HEMI with a mild hybrid system + the Giulia platform would cure much of the 300’s woes. But Sergio is a big dummy looking to hold on to just enough FCA assets to sell it off and glide away on a golden parachute.

        • 0 avatar
          TwoBelugas

          @sportyaccordy

          You think mild hybridizing a 2.0T or Hemi even on a Giulia platform will satisfy CAFE2025?

          Ahahhahahha.

          Hang on.

          Ahhahahhahaa.

          Newsflash: no conventional ICE or even a Prius type hybrid sports sedans will survive CAFE2025 without heavy penalties unless they go plug in at the very least. Not even your beloved Accords. That’s right, as it sits right now, no Accords of any variant will be able to escape CAFE penalties.

          The 300/Charger has no competitor in its segment and is still a competent platform, why should they change just for the sake of change?

          • 0 avatar
            abcd

            Check out CAFE 2025:
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_average_fuel_economy#2011_agreement_for_Model_Years_2017%E2%80%932025

            It lists the Window Sticker MPG target for the following car types by 2025:
            Honda Fit – 43
            Mercedes-Benz S-Class – 34
            Ford F-150 – 23

            A 5.6L Hemi certainly won’t survive. I am certain most car types will survive with tech progress.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I’ve got one, stop giving a sh!t about bad regs and pay the stupid fine. Its not as if these expensive models don’t have some margin, these aren’t Corollas we’re talking about.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            CAFE2025 is going to get wound down and scaled back. But FCA can’t keep selling the LX platform + iron block no tech HEMI forever. At some point they are going to hit a legit regulatory brick wall like the Panther. If not in fuel economy, most likely in crash test scores.

            Yes, Giulia platform can be stretched to Charger/300c size and accommodate an OHV V8 no problem. That’s a much less crazy suggestion than doubling down on ancient to stand FCA’s ground

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      I am hoping they stretch the Giulia platform but keep (and “alumninize”) the HEMI. That engine is a huge selling point for the LX cars. If they can offer a full size V8 car that weighs less than 2 tons they will have something special. If any engines are getting swapped it would the Pentastar for the new 2.0T.

      • 0 avatar
        TwoBelugas

        “If they can offer a full size V8 car that weighs less than 2 tons”

        go look up other current production full size V8 cars and tell me which one is significantly below 2 tons. Mind you the Chevy SS was 4000 lbs, the Lexus GS weighs 4000lbs, the LS is around 4700-5000 lbs, the MB E class is 3800-4200 lbs. A Jaguar xj starts at 3900 lbs and goes up to 4100.

        I’ll wait.

        • 0 avatar
          nvinen

          My supercharged V8 Falcon (sorry no LHD version) is built like a tank and has a kerb weight of 1.85t so around 1.75t without driver and a half tank of fuel. Seats five adults easily. A fibreglass, Al or CF bonnet and boot lid would probably save another 0.05t.

        • 0 avatar
          Gersch Schauff

          It wouldn’t take much to trim some weight off. Higher grades of high strength steel (as used by the big 3 truck manufacturers currently), greater use of cast aluminum or magnesium structural parts, and platform specific weight reduction — GM achieved huge weight reduction with the Alpha platform.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          Didn’t say “significantly” less TwoBelugas, way to move the goalposts and put words in my mouth. Like you just said, the ancient Chevy SS was just under 2 tons… I’m sure FCA can get around there with a modern platform and aluminum HEMI. Not sure why you are comparing the Charger to a Lexus LS either, why stop there… a V8 Flying Spur is 5300 lbs… an armored S550 is probably 6000lbs… etc. etc. Brilliant

          • 0 avatar
            TwoBelugas

            “Didn’t say “significantly” less TwoBelugas, way to move the goalposts and put words in my mouth. Like you just said, the ancient Chevy SS was just under 2 tons”

            Oh I see, if they shave a few hundred pounds to bring a stripped down Hemi Charger to 3,999 lbs and the sportyaccordy will be pleased?

            LOL.

          • 0 avatar
            TwoBelugas

            “CAFE2025 is going to get wound down and scaled back.”

            you sure?

            “But FCA can’t keep selling the LX platform + iron block no tech HEMI forever. At some point they are going to hit a legit regulatory brick wall like the Panther. If not in fuel economy, most likely in crash test scores.”

            All they need to do is a minor revision on the small overlap test and the rest of their cores are “good” on the IIHS scale. What crash test score do you envision will absolutely kill the LX the way the 2012 roof crush standard did the panthers in?

            And “no tech Hemi”? Perhaps Honda can show Chrysler how a full size v8 sedans should be done?

      • 0 avatar
        jpolicke

        I can’t be the only person that went with the Pentastar specifically because it wasn’t a turbocharged 4-cyl.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Why does it need to be less than 2 tons? I’d prefer it closer to 3, more steel means more chance to survive.

  • avatar
    JMII

    Chrysler has two models, so yep kill it.
    Fiat has one unique model, so off with its head as well.

    I’ll never understand this crazy every model needs its own brand thing. Case in point – why is RAM (all caps) a brand now? All of these vehicles should be sold under Dodge. You want to keep selling a few Fiat 500s? Call it the Neon and put it on the Dodge lot.

    • 0 avatar
      gomez

      Agreed. I know it’s been nearly 10 years, but RAM is still the Dodge Ram in my mind. Instead of investing in Chrysler and Dodge, FCA keeps dumping money into the Italian brands. I get it…Fiat put up the money (along with the US Govt) to save Chrysler, but that doesn’t mean reintroducing Fiat and Alfa were good ideas. Instead of having 2-3 strong brands, the money now has to spread out to maintain 8 brands (although Ferrari is self-sustaining).

      Heck, why not merge the Dodge, RAM, and Fiat brands and sell the same vehicles as Dodges in NA and as Fiats in EU. Do the same thing with Chrysler Alfa, and Maserati. Jeep and Ferrari can remain standalone niche brands. Now you only have to spread the money across 4 brands and all become strong.

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      I too have a complete lack of understanding regarding Sergios moves in the U.S. How could anyone believe that Fiat had more brand cache than Dodge? Mind that I am referencing the U.S. and Italy as an example.

      Every move made could have been done under the existing dealer and naming nomenclature. Their was zero need for dealers to construct new buildings that now say Fiat and Alpha Romeo that as of now are the best place to commit a homicide and get away with it. No one will see or hear of your acts for weeks,public entry into these facilities is rare.

      The slow and painful demise of the Chrysler and dodge brands under Sergio has been shameful.

  • avatar
    NoID

    I’m all for the elimination of Fiat from our shores, if done correctly. Kill the 500L and 500X in North America, re-badge the 500 and 124 Spider as Dodge products and dump them into the SRT sandbox for some added giggle factor.

    I can’t quite get on board with elimination of the Chrysler brand, but it needs a proper direction and product. Resurrect it as the entry level luxury / technology leader it used to be. The Pacifica, especially the PHEV, fits this bill perfectly. A new 300 based on the next-gen Charger/Challenger platform should continue to sell well enough if given the right level of comfort/dynamics/tech to differentiate it from its sporty Dodge brethren, doubly so in the face of reduced competition from the dying Taurus and Impala. Add the oft-rumored Pacifica-based 3-row crossover, re-style and re-badge the dead 500X as a CUV…there’s opportunity there for sure.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      I feel like the 200 would have thrived as a crossover. It’s not too late. I spoke to my suggestions for the LX cars above. FCA has some real platform assets but they just refuse to leverage them properly.

      • 0 avatar
        TwoBelugas

        yes yes, Chrysler should dump money into a dying segment where they have no real competition at the price point and with CAFE hanging over their head like an ax. Yeah, I’m sure then sportyaccordy will run out and buy a lightly used copy right the way in 3-4 years after the launch.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          Yes, midsize crossovers are definitely a dying segment LMAO. Or did you mean the Chrysler LX platform, which you called “competent and competitive” a few posts up? Big on emotion, small on brains, you must live a rough life TwoBelugas.

          • 0 avatar
            TwoBelugas

            “Or did you mean the Chrysler LX platform, ”

            “I spoke to my suggestions for the LX cars above. FCA has some real platform assets but they just refuse to leverage them properly.”

            You brought it up first. Your obsession with the LX and your inability to refrain from injecting it into a cross-over discussion is both cute and sad.

      • 0 avatar
        NoID

        A case study in the success/failure probability of a 200 crossover is the Cherokee, which rides on the same CUSW platform. Jeep has done fairly well with that one.

        As for dumping money into dying segments, none of the segments are going to level out at zero. If they level out at a volume where the remaining players can make money (see Toyota/Honda/FCA minivans) it absolutely makes sense to invest the money. To wit, FCA is the top player in the large car segment so it makes sense for them to reinvest in some combination of Charger/Challenger/300 because as competitors drop out it only drives more customers into FCA dealers to scratch their big sedan/big coupe itch.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          Exactly. Letting the LX cars die on the vine because “there is no competition” will send it to the same place as its competition.

          Given how well the awful Dodge Journey is doing I think a CUSA Chrysler crossover with the 2.0T + Pentastar would do well. There is still room in the 2 row midsize crossover segment.

          • 0 avatar
            TwoBelugas

            “Exactly. Letting the LX cars die on the vine because “there is no competition” will send it to the same place as its competition.”

            Good old sportyaccordy, can’t stop talking about the LX and how horrible it is.

            So tell us, what full size RWD V8 sedan should the potential buyer cross-shop since the LX is so outdated and ancient and all that bad stuff?

    • 0 avatar
      Flipper35

      The 124 could be a Dodge SRT product but the 500 will have to go. It was a novelty when it came here and it never was a legitimate Mini competitor.

      Drop the turbo 4 from the Jeep into the 124 and you would have a screamer.

      The 500x is already renamed so drop that one as well.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    “According to a Bloomberg report, sources with knowledge of the plan say the near future contains far fewer Chryslers for those living outside the U.S., and no Fiats for those *who are*.

    Are what? The wording is confusing.

  • avatar
    conundrum

    “Expect a Future Fiat Chrysler With a Lot Less Fiats and Chryslers: Report”

    Expect a Future Fiat Chrysler With a Lot (Fewer) Fiats and Chryslers: Report

    There, fixed it for you. Less versus fewer. Bloomberg got it correct because the two words are not synonyms. Writing correctly here is not regarded as a jolly sport. Let’s invent clickbait headlines, put forth sardonic statements that might be seen by some to be dashing and edgy, and count that as profound criticism. Farago, were he still interested in this site, must wonder at its present sorry state as primarily a news aggregator with snark.

  • avatar
    dwford

    The Chrysler and Fiat brands just need to die altogether. Neither has any positive brand equity left anywhere in the world. Spin off Maserati (back to Ferrari so they aren’t tempted to make SUVs). Put the Ram trucks back into Dodge. That leaves them with Dodge as the sporty all American brand, Jeep as the rugged outdoors brand, and Alfa as the premium brand. All have different takes on the active, adventurous, sporting lifestyle.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    A retro AMC Eagle with the 5.7L and a manual would have people flocking to showrooms, probably showrooms of other manufacturers, but at least FCA could say they tried.

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    Long live Chrysler!


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