It’s probably only a matter of time, though

FCA’s investor meeting has taken place, and the official word is that Chrysler will carry on as a North-American.-only brand and Fiat will become a Euro-only EV brand. To take things even further, a company spokesperson has also said that Dodge won’t be killed off either. That’s a pretty bold move from FCA considering how unpopular Chrysler and Fiat have become here. What happens with these brands next, however, will determine whether or not they’ll continue to stick around long term.

What Will FCA do with Chrysler?

Chrysler isn't on the Chopping Block Yet; Fiat to Retreat, Become Euro-Only EV Brand Wallpaper quality
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As a North-American only brand, you can bet they will probably start turning out SUVs, so you can probably expect the next five years to include a lot of rebadged Dodge models

To be completely honest, the only reason that FCA isn’t killing the Chrysler brand is because of its name – it’s half of the Fiat Chrysler name. At this time, however, the brand has done so horribly that it sells just two vehicles, the Pacifica and the 300. The 300 doesn’t exactly have a cult following by any means and the Pacifica doesn’t fare to well in a world that’s in love with SUVs. Chrysler swears it has three models, but we count the Pacifica Hybrid as part of the Pacifica lineup. It stands to reason that FCA isn’t sure what it’s going to do with Chrysler at this point as there was next to nothing said about what will be coming from the brand in the future.

As a North-American only brand, you can bet they will probably start turning out SUVs, so you can probably expect the next five years to include a lot of rebadged Dodge models. To be more specific, FCA will probably rebrand the Durango and the Journey. With the 300 long overdue for a revamp, the next-gen charger will probably be rebadged as the next-gen Chrysler 300 as well. This is all speculation for now, but with no word from Chrysler, next to no income from the cars it sells, and only two models in dealers it will have to move quickly.

Fiat’s Going Electric, But It could Still Fail

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A new “city car” baring the Fiat name will hit the market sometime in the next four years while a total of four FCA-made will be shared among Fiat, Dodge, and Chrysler.

Fiat hasn’t done well here in the States and, while it’s more at home in Europe, it’s probably not doing well there either. It’s in store for a big shakeup, and the brand will slowly transition into becoming an EV only brand. It’s probably going to get a big chunk of the $10.5 billion that FCA plans to invest in electric cars by 2022 as well as a big chunk of the 30 new electric or hybrid vehicles as well. A new “city car” baring the Fiat name will hit the market sometime in the next four years while a total of four FCA-made will be shared among Fiat, Dodge, and Chrysler.

The chances are that Fiat will simply take the same design that it’s always used for its current models, do the usual minimal changes, then slap battery packs and electric motors in them. It’s not going to happen overnight, but as it’s time for each model to get a full revamp – if that’s what you would call Fiat’s generational shifts, anyway – they will drop the fuel suckers and go all electric. FCA says the move to go all electric with Fiat and invest so much money in EVs is necessary to meet strict emissions standards but is there really more to it?

Trouble Could be on the Horizon

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Both brands make up the name of FCA, yet the group is being held together by Jeep, Ram, Maserati, and Alfa Romeo.

This sounds like a well put together plan on the outside, but when you look at the current condition of Chrysler alone and the sudden desire to turn Fiat into a Euro-only EV brand, the whole situation reeks of fear and desperation. Both brands make up the name of FCA, yet the group is being held together by Jeep, Ram, Maserati, and Alfa Romeo. If Chrysler can’t drastically revamp its lineup – and by that I mean bring in some new cars that aren’t just rebadged models from every other brand – it’s probably not going to last to see its own centennial celebration. Being part of the FCA name will only last so long.

As far as Fiat goes, the whole move to transition in EV only could be a good move but only if FCA can develop Fiat-branded cars that people want and offer up enough decent range. There also has to be plenty of public charging stations and infrastructure in place, or Fiat is going to die just as quickly as Chrysler.

Final Thoughts

Chrysler isn't on the Chopping Block Yet; Fiat to Retreat, Become Euro-Only EV Brand
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Chrysler just needs to die whether it’s a part of the FCA brand or not, and it’s honestly too bad that Sergio Marchionne isn’t smart enough to make that call now.

I have to be honest, Chrysler’s struggles come down to the brand having to lie in the bed it has made. It turned out unreliable and clunky cars for so long that people just quit buying them. Now, their only passenger car outside of the Pacifica, the 300C, lives most of its life being repossessed and resold through subprime dealerships. Chrysler just needs to die whether it’s a part of the FCA brand or not, and it’s honestly too bad that Sergio Marchionne isn’t smart enough to make that call now. It’s only a matter of time before the brand dies off and it’s going to come down to how long FCA will hemorrhage money so that the Chrysler brand can continue to live on. As far as Fiat goes, it’s fairly popular in Europe and will probably be okay without a North American presence, but the shift into EVs needs to be done carefully. If the technology isn’t ready, it will be a bunch of money going right down the drain.

References

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