FCA has already announced they’ll start to phase out the 200 and the Dart, but that’s just part of the group’s bigger plan.
That’s because FCA will no longer make passenger cars in the United States by early next year; in fact, the company will just stick to Jeep and RAM in its quest to become mostly known for pickups and SUVs. The sole exceptions will be the Dodge Durango, which is currently built alongside the Jeep Grand Cherokee, and the low-volume Viper that is anyway slated to be discontinued with the 2017MY.
The Detroit Free Press reports that ending passenger car production in the U.S is part of FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne’s multibillion-dollar plan to increase profit margins to match competitors. The plan recognizes the growing popularity of SUVs in America, low gas prices and lower cost of producing vehicles in Mexico, although Ford reported a 9 percent decline in the second-quarter profit as U.S. demand softness.
“By the time we finish with this, hopefully, all of our production assets in the United States — if you exclude Canada and Mexico from the fold — all those US plants will be producing either Jeeps or RAMs”, said Marchionne.
As opposed to the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart, the Jeep and Ram brands have been gaining sales, but the plan also includes moving production of the Compass and Patriot replacements to Mexico.
“I think our biggest task now is to close the operating margin gap with our competitors. That remains a permanent fixation that we have inside the house,” Marchionne said. “I think we will be de-carred in the US by (the first quarter) of 2017.”