By on June 1, 2018

The first part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ five-year product plan has emerged at the automaker’s Balocco proving grounds near Turin, Italy, where company brass detailed the near future of four key brands: Jeep, Ram, Alfa Romeo, and Maserati.

Yes, no mention of Chrysler, Dodge, or Fiat. They’ll get to that later this morning (is there a bell tolling for one or more of those brands, at least in America? Stay tuned…)

What we know at this point is that the company has no plans to back away from its goal of dominating the globe with the Jeep brand. There’s more SUVs coming — plenty of them, and hybrids, too. For North American truck buyers, a dedicated off-road variant of its new Ram 1500 is assured, giving the Ford F-150 Raptor a run for its money. FCA would prefer accepting your cash in that segment.

Brand boss Mike Manley said Jeep will electrify all of its vehicles in some manner by the end of the planning window — 2022. In many cases, that could just mean a 48-volt mild hybrid setup on a four-cylinder vehicle, just like what we’re getting with the Wrangler JL. European customers can expect the elimination of diesel and its replacement by eight plug-in hybrid models (bolstered by five mild hybrids), while China gets a new “urban” SUV and four battery electric models.

Globally, rumors of a baby Jeep proved true, as the brand plans to tap into the overseas A-segment with the launch of a diminutive ute with Fiat bones. Americans can expect larger offerings. A three-row Grand Cherokee’s on the way, Manley said, along with the high-profit Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. Refreshes or redesigns are coming for the Cherokee, Compass, and Renegade, as well as the Grand Cherokee. All told, eight plug-in hybrid models should appear in the lineup by 2022. In the first quarter of 2020, a “Deserthawk” trim joins the existing Trailhawk and Trackhawk; Jeep promises eight “desert specific engineering standards” that sho0uld turn the models into a high-speed sand monster.

The brand wants its utility vehicle market share to grow from one in 17 to one in 12 over this time frame. Eventually, it hopes for one in five. Reach for those stars…

At the far less crowded Ram brand, the big news is a production model of the TRX concept the automaker displayed at the 2016 Texas State Fair. Hellcat power is a possibility. FCA spent piles of cash getting its 2019 1500 out the door; why not use it to its maximum potential?

Hybridization is also in the cards for the light-duty Ram pickup, but there’s no exact date for its introduction. In 2019, a new Heavy Duty model appears, and FCA’s aiming for a higher average transaction price to compete with Ford’s glitzy Super Duty line. Also in the 2018-2022 time frame? A long-rumored midsize pickup. No word on an introduction date or whether we’ll see a return of the Dakota nameplate, unfortunately.

As for the tony Italian brands, the 8C and GTV nameplates will stage a reappearance at Alfa Romeo. Brand chief Tim Kuniskis said the GTV will be an “attainable” four-seater with 600 horsepower and all-wheel drive, while the 8C should make the 0-62 mph run in three seconds. As well, there’ll be two new SUVs to bracket the existing Stelvio.

By 2022, FCA wants to double Maserati’s sales. A big part of the plan involves two new models: a SUV to slot below the existing Levante, as well as an Alfieri coupe and convertible to lure in big-spending buyers. There’s three powertrains in the works for that model, including a plug-in. How does 0-62 mph in two seconds sound? Unattainable? Well, that’s what Kuniskis promises.

During the presentation, CEO Sergio Marchionne updated the media on his company’s financials, declaring that by the end of June, FCA’s cash flow should outweigh its remaining debt. The automaker hoped to become cash positive in 2018, ahead of Marchionne’s retirement in early 2019.

[Image: Matthew Guy/TTAC]

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40 Comments on “Fiat Chrysler’s 5-Year Plan: Back in the Black by June, Bullish on Jeep, Off-road Ram on the Way...”


  • avatar
    FreedMike

    “What we know at this point is that the company has no plans to back away from its goal of dominating the globe with the Jeep brand.”

    Well, yeah, that’s really all they have at this point that could be sold outside North America, so if said world domination happens, it’ll be Jeep doing it.

    And for the life of me, I can’t figure out why these guys won’t bring out a full size SUV based on the Ram pickup. That fruit’s hanging so low it’s practically touching the ground.

    • 0 avatar
      MrGreenMan

      They could make an upscale version of it with a nice interior and the biggest V8 that they have, and they could then call it the Chrysler Aspen.

    • 0 avatar

      The current rumor is that the Grand Wagoneer and wagoneer will be based on the new Ram 1500 instead of the grand cherokee.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        If that’s the case, then I think it makes even more sense to sell a Ram version.

        But my guess is actually that the bigger Jeep will a super sized CUV, ala Buick Enclave, and that it’ll be on an updated version of the Durango platform.

        • 0 avatar
          derekson

          Supposedly that was the original plan but when they got into the engineering it made more sense to just use the RAM platform instead of trying to lengthen and widen the Durango/GC platform.

    • 0 avatar
      cdotson

      Similarly, build it also on the HD frame. They can give it the coil-sprung 4-link from the 2500 and give it actual tow rating to exploit the completely abandoned HD SUV market left by the Suburban 2500 and Excursion. They can build a leaf-sprung 3500 version and compete with the $80k+ Suburban 3500 sold only to armored vehicle upfitters (secret service).

      Bonus-HD rated vehicles do not count against CAFE. Waiting for the day that every single pickup has a GVWR over 10k for this very reason.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    Well, no real surprises here. Jeep über alles worldwide, with a soupçon of Alfa, Maserati and Ram (RAM!).

    As a US citizen, the most appealing announcements to me are the upcoming TRX (Raptor competitor) and the impending retirement of Sweater, I mean, Sergio. I’m hoping when Sergio exits stage left that one of the US guys (Gillies or Kuniskis) gets the top job.

    I can only hope.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Another Chrysler death watch (yawn). I’ve been hearing this static since 1977. “Chrysler’s finished” and “Put a six-pack of Billy Beer away, it’ll be worth a fortune someday” were two urban myths from ‘77.

    • 0 avatar

      Yeah don’t think a death watch is in order they are selling 25,000 Wranglers a month. That means it will likely beat out best selling cars like the Corolla this year.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        No, the Wrangler is not gonna outsell the Corolla, but it’d be fun to watch the Corolla get its’ lunch eaten by a Jeep.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus

          Maybe if they took away Corolla rental sales.

        • 0 avatar

          It will be interesting to watch Looks like the Wrangler is going to be close the first 3 months of the year had Corolla up a lot but for April and May it look like Wrangler out sold them.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            That doesn’t surprise me. The Wrangler is a lot like the Mustang or Corvette – there’s a built in market of fanboys who buy the living hell out of them when new models are introduced, and then the sales level off.

            Looks like a neat vehicle, though.

          • 0 avatar
            whynot

            I would expect Wrangler sales to slow a bit as the year goes on as the cheaper JK thins out.

          • 0 avatar
            TwoBelugas

            ” there’s a built in market of fanboys who buy the living hell out of them when new models are introduced, and then the sales level off. ”

            When JK and JKU were introduced they sold 120k.

            last update of the JK/U was 2012 with the new engine. They sold 142k JK/Us that year in the US.

            In 2016 and 2017 they sold about 190k in the US each year.

            Tells us more about this leveling off thing.

        • 0 avatar
          Pete Zaitcev

          Wrangles is much too expensive to outsell Corolla.

    • 0 avatar
      whynot

      Where in this post were people talking about a Chrysler/FCA deathwatch? The only question was what would happen to the Chrysler brand…which is a very valid question considering they are only down to 2 models one of which is quickly aging in a dying segment.

      • 0 avatar
        moff90

        “The only question was what would happen to the Chrysler brand”

        Up to 62,000 Pacifica Hybrids supplied to Waymo over the next three years + discussions about a retail version

        pg 18
        https://www.fcagroup.com/capitalmarketsday/Presentations/FCA%20June%201%202018%20CMD_Technology%20Update.pdf

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      What we need is a Ford death watch.
      They’re cancelling models I’ll never buy and that makes me haz a pouty face. Ask King DW: Bottom of every survey ever, NOBODY buys their products, and every one they’ve ever made is the worstestest ever.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        LOL, but you have to admit this move will either be really ballsy or really stupid. Given that the first new “white space model” of the Brave New All-Crossover Ford is the Ecosport, which is about as desirable as a threesome with Roseanne Barr and a cinderblock (and for the record, I’m going with the cinderblock), I gotta wonder.

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        I’m not so sure about this Hackett-led FoMoCo. I like this even less than the Sweater-led FCA.

        I have visions of 2008-9 repeating itself and all of these car companies having only Hummer-like lineups.

        I know a lot has changed in the last 10 years and that S/CUVs can do anything a car can do, but I still get this uneasy feeling in my gut when I think about this.

        When fuel prices go up, people get stupid and panic. Remember the run-up of prices for Geo Metros? Idiocy. Fuel prices go up and then they go down, but folks don’t think (or get themselves in a situation where fuel prices really screw them).

        I guess we’ll see what transpires…

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          “I have visions of 2008-9 repeating itself and all of these car companies having only Hummer-like lineups.”

          ^ All this!!

          If gas prices don’t drop much or continue to increase, it’s gonna get ugly! Of the big 2.whatever, Ms. Barra and the RenCen peeps may come out the best — at least they’ll have a couple more cars which aren’t on stilts!

  • avatar
    mrentropy

    Hand the GTV over to the SRT folks to make a new Barracuda to compete with the Mustang and Camaro.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    More interested in the afternoon news than this announcement.

    Is it just me or does Sergio seem to put more things on the table than a Buca Di Beppo family style meal when holding these press conferences?

    I’m all for ambition but it also often means timelines keep getting pushed back compared to the original announcement.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Buca Di Beppo: where diets go to die.

      That’s one thing I miss about St. Louis – folks around here don’t know jack s*it from really good Italian food.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    Best car company ever. Exactly what Cadillac is supposed to be, according to all experts. Unlike GhanzooDongHappyFun Motors and Hecho in Mexico Ford, they are way better because they also sell in China and build lots of vehicles in Mexico, but its cool because DW likes his rental Jeeps.

  • avatar
    jfk-usaf

    I don’t even like to rent FCA products. Probably not ever buying one. Junk… Not talking about initial quality like everyone likes to point at. I’m talking about long term quality. Go sit in a 3 year old FCA product on a used lot… Junk.

    • 0 avatar
      Pete Zaitcev

      I drive an 8-year-old FCA product – a union-made bailoutmobile. It’s the best car ever. I’m having trouble finding anything that can replace it, actually.

    • 0 avatar
      ahintofpepperjack

      The Grand Cherokee, LX cars, and Ram 1500 are the best vehicles in their class right now. Sit in a 3 year old version of any of those and they are perfectly fine. I’m driving a 3 year old Challenger and it’s just like new.

      When it comes to FCA products, it’s knowing what to buy. Avoid all of the Fiat based vehicles.

  • avatar
    deanst

    “During the presentation, CEO Sergio Marchionne updated the media on his company’s financials, declaring that by the end of June, FCA’s cash flow should outweigh its remaining debt.”

    Okay, this may be pedantic to some, but terms have meanings. Marchioness has a goal of being net cash positive, meaning cash on the balance sheet will be bigger than the debt. Cash flow is an income statement term, referencing the amount of cash generated by the firm over a period of time.

    The MBA/CPA/CFA in me cannot let these things slide!

  • avatar
    slavuta

    This grill is hideous


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