Chrysler Could Be On The Chopping Block

All eyes on are Fiat Chrysler Automobiles as CEO Sergio Marchionne will present the company’s future product roadmap on June 1st.

We’ve already heard countless rumors about what could be announced but Automotive News is hinting at something unthinkable: killing off Chrysler. While nothing is official, the publication says “A source told a European colleague that such an announcement could come Friday.”

Eliminating the Chrysler brand sounds extreme, but its lineup only consists of the ageing 300 and the relatively new Pacifica. Given that, it wouldn’t be hard to imagine that FCA could simply phase out the 300 and rebadge the Pacifica as a Dodge Grand Caravan.

While the rumor should be taken with a grain of a salt, FCA hasn’t said much about the future of Chrysler. The last time we heard about upcoming products was back in January when Marchionne said design work has been completed on a new crossover that will ride on that same platform that underpins the Pacifica. At the time, Marchionne said “We can probably get it up and running in 18 months.”

The model was originally announced as part of Chrysler’s five-year plan which was unveiled in 2014. At the time, the automaker said the crossover would be a “full-size” model that would arrive in 2017 with conventional and plug-in hybrid powertrains.

That report seems to suggest FCA still has plans for Chrysler but, as we reported a few days ago, many of the vehicles mentioned in the five-year plan failed to materialize. The Chrysler 200 was axed and the company never launched the entry-level 100 sedan. Chrysler was also planning to introduce a new mid-size crossover and a redesigned 300 this year but that isn’t happening.

  • Dennis Scipio

    Frankly, I was expecting it to be the Fiat brand in the U.S. In all seriousness, a CEO who promises these things and fails to deliver on said promise cannot be fit for the position.

    • Six_Tymes

      what? the

    • TheToadPrince..~~ToadSquad

      ur 100%right…Fiat should be axed…even the Aging Chrysler 300 alone sold more then most fiat products.

      • Auf Wiedersehen

        Marchionne should be axed. To not have a solid plan for future-proofing any of the FCA companies besides Ferrari is flat out negligent. This ass hat couldn’t manage his way out of a mime box. How he has managed to stay in power is beyond me.

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d7c2813239cdbefec8d76fc66c99eaeb0749bd735492a5fe97964e8914810945.gif

        • Alfa Giulia QV

          This is his last year so maybe 2019 is when things will take a turn for the better. Honestly, his departure couldn’t come soon enough.

        • Even Ferrari technically is independent from FCA. So he basically just hang on to Alfa, Maserati and Hellcat everything.

    • Nick099

      I agree. Fiat has been the drag on FCA not the American brands.

      • Auf Wiedersehen

        Marchionne will never admit that. I has to be the American part of the company to him.

  • Six_Tymes

    I’m not surprised, as many aren’t. car sales in these price ranges are down in SOME areas, AND add to that Chrysler sales were lagging behind everywhere, they cant hold on for too long, plus the market is saturated with brands of cars, better, worse, or whatever, the market if flooded. they improved product all around, but not soon enough, other brands have taken hold already.

  • pjl35

    Not surprised at all. It’s time. Between Daimler, Cerberus, and now FIAT, Chrysler has been left to wither and die, starved for both meaningful updates and new products. Just let it die in peace instead of continuing on in the embarrassing state it currently is.

    • Nick099

      Not entirely accurate. Jeep, Dodge and Ram are doing well. They have some new products on the commercial side that out do the competition in price and features, Chrysler has been ignored…the chassis and engines are there so the whole thing can be turned around easily enough.
      The real problem is Fiat and the manufacturing in Italy…they have been losing money there for years. That nation is fraught with all sorts of problems…their young people are leaving for jobs elsewhere. It’s Socialist, etc.,etc.,etc.

      • the last socialist iatlian president was in power in 1985… And FCA isn’t making money, or producing cars only in Italy and the US… Yes Italy has a lots of problems… like a lot of other countires. But FCA problems have nothing to do with Italy’s politics. They has for too long bad products not in line with what people wanted. Management was very bad. Alfa almost died, Maseratti was not far from it, Lancia was supposed to merge with Chrysler, wich was strange but could have worked, yet they pulled the plug.

      • pjl35

        I’m referring specifically to Chrysler. Where in my comment did I mention Jeep, Dodge, or Ram??

  • TrevP

    I hope he hits this announcement out of the park, because Chrysler is going downhill. The only thing keeping them afloat is the Pacifica, which should have been on Forza Motorsport instead of the Odyssey.

  • Sean Sweeney

    So FA instead of FCA?

    • Status

      It’ll stand for ‘Fuck All’. Chrysler hasn’t been remarkable in decades.

      • Auf Wiedersehen

        This is true but by you can only fault guys like Marchionne. They were once a powerhouse with leading edge style.

        • Status

          ‘Once’. Nobody can rest on their laurels forever. Detroit has been trying to promote their past forever rather than deliver us the future.

          I think of that every time I see a Camaro, Mustang, or Challenger; every one of them is a hand-job trip down memory lane for some 60 year old fart.

          For those younger than 60, it’s an open ended reminder that looking back lovingly at the past that cannot be recreated will not give you the same vicarious feeling their grandfather has.

          • Auf Wiedersehen

            Hmm. And yet 99% of these cars you speak of, are bought and trashed by people younger than 40. Interesting how that works. The guys over 40 know they are complete and utter shit.

            And you are right, and I have said it before, management has squandered the chance to make the big 3 great on the world stage. But greed and ineptitude has beat the crap out of these companies. Now we are left with the smoldering wreckage of the past CEOs who had a great idea and KNEW people would buy it, only to produce some garbage that feel apart, turned off on it’s own and killed people, accelerated on it’s own and killed people and blew the airbag and killed people all while these guys left the companies in ruin as they retired to their 400 acre ranch set for the rest of their lives.

            Of course they return once in a while to tell everyone how it should be done and how we are all doomed. Yes, I am speaking to you Bob Putz.

  • TB

    Stick a fork in it…honestly I am shocked it’s taken this long…time to put Chrysler & it’s horrible products to pasture.

  • Mill0048

    Why throw away all that goodwill? Why not consolidate all operations with Dodge, but keep the brand going as specialty products that don’t fit within the Dodge lineup?

    • pjl35

      What goodwill? There isn’t any left. Chrysler has been starved for product and neglected for years. Unless you’re buying a minivan, or a full-size sedan (which is a dying market that most manufacturers are abandoning), there is no goodwill to be had.

      • Mill0048

        I agree completely that they are starved and neglected. And of all American auto makers I like Chrysler the least. However, there are still plenty of people that are die hard Mopar/Chrysler fans and/or fans of the minivan and large sedan markets that are now becoming niche. They have brand cachet and I bet there’s money to be made if the operations can be streamlined.

        • Merc1

          Fans don’t mean squat, sales do. They aren’t buying so the brand goes away, it’s as simple as that. I agree that they should keep the brand, I mean it’s already combined with Dodge anyway, but the problem is the both of them don’t amount to anything relevant outside of a Hellcat vehicle.

          M

      • Сафиуллина-Мохамед Рамазанов

        Honestly I think Dodge have a powerful point if Chrysler really died tomorrow

        With rumors of the Viper return, Alfa chassis for both new Charger and Challenger, Pacifica as Town & Country, the rumored new Durango on Ram Chassis with the wagoner, honestly that makes Dodge safe as safe be especially if they re-merges the Ram under Dodge as the normal until 5 years ago

  • Status

    If this is true, then I can’t see why anyone would defend Sergio and his legacy.

  • Jason Panamera

    Still don’t know why they stopped production of Chrysler 200. Bad decisions are making Chrylser weaker and weaker, but still they have a big potential. Maybe Waymo gonna buy Chrylser, he he he… 🙁 Overall FCA needs more SUVs than only these from Jeep.

    • Jp

      Agreed. This car was pretty nice looking and had a pretty neat interior too.

    • I believe because the combination of sales and growing needs to find assembly plant for Jeep/Ram. If you look at domestic sales from 2014 to 2015, they are sold half than 2014. Which actually if you consider that the car is a ten year old cars, it’s an achievement of it’s own.

      Lastly they need to find more assembly plants and as we know, former 200 plant in Michigan will refitted into Ram 1500 plant.

  • Bash

    This is depressing really.. I’m afraid in few years, Chrysler and maybe dodge will eventually take the same road Pontiac did. And it hurts me saying that!!

    • Craig

      I sure hope not.

  • Leconte Dave

    They should get rid of Fiat instead wtf.
    I guess Alfa will replace Chrysler

    • FactChecker90803

      His desire to replace the American brands with his Euro centric line has been a failure, only thing keeping FCA afloat is Jeep-Ram profits, that accounted for 70% of FCA’s world wide profits in 2017. FCA keeps using does profits to develop and funnel new products into Alfa, Ferrari, Fiat, Iveco and Masarratti, while delaying major improvements or replacing the Grand Cherokee, 300, Charger, Challenger, Journey, Durango and developing a mid size Ram PU. Gues Fiat doing the same to Chrysler as Daimler did.

      • RobPul

        “FactChecker”, you might want to check that “Maserratti” spelling…

        • FactChecker90803

          Sorry RobPul, that Dammed autocorrect, works in mysterious ways.

  • Denzel

    FCA is in general is lacking. They have many brands but all are of need for something new products except for Alfa and jeep for now.

  • Alfa Giulia QV

    No surprise if that turns out to be true. I mean, the writing is kind of on the wall. I do know one thing, if it happens somebody here is going to be furious.

  • Rocket

    I won’t be surprised at all if the rumor turns out to be true. The surprise to me is that Dodge isn’t going, too. But then I guess slapping a Jeep badge on the Pacifica wouldn’t work too well, and a Fiat badge is an even worse idea.

    Then again, maybe a lifted AWD Pacifica would make for a pretty damn cool Jeep. Now there’s a white space vehicle that could actually find a home.

    • Leconte Dave

      Dodge is not going anywhere. Fiat could be next on the list

      • Rocket

        What makes you so sure? The massive investment they’ve made in their utility vehicle lineup? Or maybe the fact that they couldn’t even be troubled to give Dodge a version of the Pacifica?

        The only two domestic brands of any real value to FCA are Jeep and Ram. One could argue that the only reason Dodge and Chrysler have been kept around this long is because they can’t afford the steep cost associated with shuttering them.

      • Rocket

        And Fiat never should have been launched here in the first place. Fiat was the answer to the question nobody asked.

    • FactChecker90803

      And they could name is the Eagle Van, after all Lee Iacocca, wanted to introduce a van into the Eagle brand back in the 1991, but never came to be.

  • eb110americana

    Even with only 2 models, one of which has scarcely been updated in the last decade, Chrysler moved 188,545 cars in 2017. As recently as 2015, they sold 324,846 cars when there were actually models to sell.

    Alfa Romeo sold a whopping 12,031 cars here in all of 2017, and if you add Europe’s 86,805 Alfas and Fiat’s 26,492 US sales–you still have fewer sales (125,328) than just Chrysler in the US with two models. I am so glad FCA is funneling all of Jeep’s profits back to Europe so it can kill Chrysler and Dodge of attrition. If they just gave Chrysler a decent crossover or two, they would be more than self-sustaining.

  • princeboi

    Makes sense. The way sedans no longer have a spot in many car brands’ lineups, Chrysler no longer has a place in FCA’s lineup. The brand lost its appeal to most consumers, kind of the way Mercury did trying to play off as a slightly nicer Ford. If you want an FCA SUV, you clearly go to Jeep. A sports car? Dodge, Alfa. Minivan? You clearly don’t care what the hell brand you drive. It would sell just as well as a Dodge.

    I’m guessing the 200 was their last big investment, their last effort to try and save the brand, and they knew if it failed, along with it would Chrysler. In retrospect, they’re probably kicking themselves for not trying to save it with a crossover instead of a sedan.

    When was Chrysler’s last concept car that wasn’t a minivan? To me, the lack of them over the last 10-15 years shows a willingness to let it die. They had some beautiful concepts in the late 90s, early 2000s, that help to puff up the brand, generate excitement and let investors know the brand is a priority. The lack of these high profile roll-outs, along with a severe lack of model refreshes and all-new releases reveal to me that Chrysler was known internally as a brand they’d be willing to let wither and die at the vine. Strapped for cash and forecasting buyers’ shifts in preference, they had to just let it go and invest elsewhere within the FCA family.

    The real question for them is to figure out HOW the brand lost their appeal so that they don’t make the same mistake again. They’re starting to run out of brands…

    • Classic Bob

      Poor brand management and pure negligence on Sergio’s part, that’s how Chrysler lost its appeal.

      Marchionne has a habit of placing all his eggs in one basket. No duplication meant all new CUVs went to Jeep. When a basket falls (ie. sedan sales), suddenly an entire brand becomes unviable. If Chrysler had even one crossover, the picture would be much different..

  • Craig

    This would be VERY upsetting to me. Not only do I own a Chrysler – but have been a Chrysler ‘fan’ ever since I was a little boy. A foolish move. But Marchionne is a fool. So I’m not very hopeful.

  • botornot387

    Just put this poor brand out of its misery already. It’s been starved of product for 10 years and the 300 is a horrible buy.

  • TheBelltower

    Chrysler, and their whole 2 cars. Government money well spent. Pffft

  • Killing Chrysler would be a very short sighted decision, I still believe that Chrysler brand could have survived with more crossover (admittedly) on it’s range. For me the SUV range of FCA could have worked with Dodge/Fiat taking mainstream SUV, Chrysler as mid luxury SUV, Jeep as proper traditional SUV like Range Rover and Maserati could have taken the luxury SUV.

    With this money then they can make stuff that enthusiast actually want and function as their halo cars. Just my two cents.

  • Craig

    Imagine the Chrysler 300 being killed off and the FIAT 500 surviving. Something is horribly wrong with that picture.

  • Shelby GT500

    Make some Chrysler crossovers and the brand will survive. Of course Chrysler will struggle with only two models in lineup (and one of them is very old 300).

    • Classic Bob

      Make even one Chrysler crossover it would become Chrysler’s bestseller. Jeep sales would suffer, but Jeep+Chrysler sales would increase exponentially.

      A huge portion of Jeep sales comes from loyal Chrysler customers who no longer can find a suitable Chrysler vehicle and choose a Jeep to stay loyal, while many customers who don’t want a Jeep are lost to the competition.

      • Cobrajet

        The brands would have be priced separately to protect their sales. Chrysler should rival the luxury brands, like Lincoln.

  • Kill the poor Chrysler… Or make a BIG full size SUV, it would be like a Cadillac Escalade, and it would have a more rugged brother at Dodge or Jeep. I Know everyone wants to see a Full size SUV at Jeep but maybe Jeep has enough cars to live on for know and the focus should be on Chrysler? I want to see Chrysler live on… But when was the last time they made a car that made sense? Or sold well around the world?

  • Craig

    According to an article posted on the clubalfa webpage based in Italy – “Insiders claim that Chrysler could announce a new generation of the Chrysler 100 based on the Lancia Delta, a new 200, a new crossover on a 200+ Pacifica base and a new generation of the Chrysler 300. Last year in the United States, the US brand is managed to sell 118,274 minivan Pacifica and 51,237 Chrysler 300.”

    • Status

      Do you have a link to that source?

  • Status

    Thanks.

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