If we’re to believe a report from WardsAuto, 2016 may be the year when the Dodge brand will disappear. In 2016, several new models and plant sourcing moves that were initiated in late 2010 will come to fruition. These moves will be decisive for long-term strategy of Chrysler, especially for the future of Dodge.
By 2016, Chrysler will see almost its entire production renewed, with more than three-quarters of production volume to be based off the Fiat-engineered C/D-Evo, or CUSW, platform. This architecture is currently used by the Dodge Dart and the will also be used by the upcoming Chrysler 100, the next-generation Chrysler 200, Dodge Journey/Fiat Freemont, Jeep Cherokee, and a new large luxury Chrysler SUV.
For Dodge, the future doesn’t look that bright, as the brand will be left without a midsize sedan in early 2014, when production of the Avenger ends. Taking into account that Dodge’s portfolio has already been left without pickups following the creation of the Ram brand and that "at least two products" will migrate to the Chrysler brand or will be discontinued in the near future, betting on Dodge’s survival doesn’t look like a wise move right now.
The brand will be basically left with just three nameplates: the Charger, Durango and Challenger. If rumors that the latter may migrate to the SRT brand are true (just like the Viper did), then Dodge certainly will have a hard time to justify its existence.
While nothing is certain at the moment, 2016 will surely be the year when important decisions for the future of Fiat-Chrysler will be enforced.
Correction: A previous version of this article stated that the next Wrangler would be based on the CUSW platform, which isn't the case. The Wards Auto report said that the Chrysler Group is readying a re-designed Wrangler for 2016.
By Dan MihalascuStory References: Wards Auto