QOTD: Can Chrysler Get Its EV Act Together?
With the exception of the Jeep 4xes that have hit the market in recent years, Stellantis has seemed behind the curve when it comes to electrification. Sure, the Dodge Hornet offers a PHEV powertrain, as does the Alfa Romeo Tonale. And the Dodge Daytona concept previews an EV shift.
On the other hand, Chrysler is hitting the reset button on its EV plans. The Airflow concept won't be the company's first EV.
I liked the Airflow name and its looks. But now it looks like we're getting something different. This news, plus the aforementioned mentioned trailing of the pack regarding electrification has set our skepticism alarms off.
But maybe we're being unfair. Just because Stellantis hasn't followed Ford or Volkswagen or Mercedes or Genesis or whoever else doesn't mean the company can't catch up. The Ram Revolution intrigues, after all.
Even if most Stellantis brands are getting with the program, so to speak, Chrysler desperately needs product. The Pacifica is great, but it's not enough, and the 300 is moving on to the proverbial junkyard in the sky, at least for now. So the question is -- can Chrysler get an EV to market soon, and do it well? Or will other Stellantis brands like Ram be carrying that torch?
Sound off below.
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It's weird driving by a Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Fiat dealer as I did today and the Kool Aid gets real thin once you're past Jeep and Ram.
Chrysler might as well "do a Celestique." If FCA figures they'll only sell a tiny number of vehicles, do a moonshot and make it a small volume worth the press. If it succeeds in restoring luster then start to fill in the lineup. If not, it died trying its best. But the current path is nothing more than treading water.
I always thought the "suicide door Continental" Lincoln did a few years back should have been the production model. Sure it costs $90K, so what??
Chrysler needs product first and foremost to rebuild brand and there's no point in trickling in 1-2 supply constrained overpriced BEV models when there's virtually nothing for them to sell today.
In addition to or before introducing their still mystery BEVs, STLA should build up the Chrysler portfolio, keeping the 300 largely as-is even if primarily for fleet use (make it HEV if needed) and tapping into its large portfolio to bring any number of reskinned ICE, HEV, & PHEV models into Chrysler dealerships ASAP to refamiliarize the buying public with the Chrysler brand. Most importantly, said models must be unique to Chrysler without Dodge/Jeep/Alpa versions (No Dodge Hornet or Jeep Compass equivalents) and perhaps counterintuitively, also include body styles like smaller people movers, sportbacks, and wagons rare in the U.S. market but may find enough buyers looking to get out of that now generic CUV mold. Finally, advertise the *%#@ out of it.
Stellantis has the GM issue of the late oughts:
Too many brands.
Some will need to die for others to survive.
Chrysler can go now.
Meanwhile, Stellantis is trying to shake down the Canadian (and British) governments with the same threat: give us more taxpayer dollars or we walk. They want more BILLIONS from Canada to NOT move their under-construction-but-halted-for-now EV battery plant in Windsor. Let them walk. As others have pointed out, Chrysler is a "dead car company walking" with their pathetic ancient line-up. While Ford and GM have spent billions of THEIR OWN dollars to be competitive in the rapidly changing EV landscape, what has Stellantis been doing? Oh yea, coming to governments with hat in hand when they've done virtually nothing with their own funds. At least Volkswagen has gone all-in on EVs with their own billions so the Canadian government agreement with VW to ante up maybe $13 billion in subsidies for an Ontario EV battery plant won't be money down the drain as VW isn't going away any time soon. As Sandy Munro of Munro and Associates pointed out in a recent AAH net cast on Autoline Detroit (in an episode covering the astonishing advancements Tesla is making in engineering and manufacturing innovation) Chrysler/Stellantis has way fewer engineers working on future product lines than the competition. Everything points to an early demise of the Chrysler brand. The last thing governments should be doing is pouring taxpayer dollars down a rat hole never to be seen again.