Sergio Marchionne Says Dodge And Chrysler Have A Future, Hints At New Charger And Challenger

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles recently wrapped up its Capital Markets Day event which primarily focused on Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Jeep and Ram.

FCA decided to eschew a dedicated Chrysler and Dodge presentation but CEO Sergio Marchionne mentioned the brands a handful of times. Despite rumors to the contrary, he confirmed the future of both brands is “not in question” as they are important to the company’s North American lineup.

While both brands are safe, there will be changes in the future. Autocar notes Marchionne said “Our view is that 70% of the US market is already non-sedan, so to try and build traditional sedans is not helpful.” However, that doesn’t mean the company is going all-in on trucks and crossovers as the executive stated “Brands like Dodge can play a role there because of their performance heritage.”

That, of course, is a subtle hint there’s still a future for the Charger and Challenger. Marchionne mentioned the cars later on and Motor Authority says he downplayed speculation the next-generation models would ride on the same platform that underpins the Alfa Romeo Giulia.

As he explained, “We may not necessarily have to go as far as the Giorgio architecture for Dodge as long as we are willing to commit to a significant upgrade to the current architecture to make it competitive.” Marchionne then said the company is already working on an updated version of the architecture and “by the time we finish … you will not recognize its origins.”

The fate of the 300 is murkier as Chrysler will transition into a “people carrier” brand. A new model will be added sometime in the future and it’s likely the full-size crossover that Marchionne previously suggested would arrive in mid-2019.

  • Bo Hanan

    The current platform is a 25 year old Mercedes E-Class platform. That’s how great Mercedes is, and how bad Chrysler is.

    • U8INIT

      Wow, you really went there…

    • MarkoS

      It’s a Platform, one that has been modified.

      • dumblikeyou2

        Exactly. The Ford Fox platform was used from 1979 – 1993 and underpinned 17 different models. It’s a hunk of steel not a magic carpet.

        • emjayay

          The Ford Panther platform (body on frame) was used from 1978 – 2011, and I’ve always wondered if it was all that different from the one introduced in 1965.

      • Status

        That doesn’t excuse what it is, nor how old it is.

    • Craig

      The platform of the 2011 update was extensively updated.

      • Status

        It’s sill an ancient E-class underneath it all; the 2011 update didn’t ‘magically’ divorce itself from it’s true origin. The same thinking goes for the current Corvette. Updated as it is, it is still on a 35 year old platform.

        • Arthur Dunning III

          And the problem with that is what, exactly?

        • HURACAN

          LX platform is not an E-Class chassis, it was BASED off of the E-Class. The platform was developed by Chrysler. Yes I do agree it’s old.

    • eb110americana

      Even of the original, that isn’t really true. They shared engineering for things like suspension geometry, but the actual parts like the suspension A-arms were not swappable between the two. Also, the floorpan was re-engineered for the larger MOPARs. It basically saved them a lot on the back end, but they still had a new platform once they were complete. And as noted, in 2011 the platform was heavily revised. It is quite long-in-the-tooth, but it’s more of an example of how cheap FCA is when it comes to their American brands (with the exception of Jeep), than of Mercedes’ superiority.

    • Socarboy

      Also the Jeep Grand Cherokee is also on a MB platform of the last gen ML SUV

      • FactChecker90803

        YOUR 2ND history lesson, on the ML W163,. It was supposed to be a joint MB-Mitsubishi project based on the montero /pejero ladder chassis, this went to the wayside do to “technical problems “, so MB , branched on there own with the technical package they had aquired or developed with Mitsubishi and developed there own body on frame SUV, the 1st Gen ML W163 that spanned 1997-2005.
        In 1999, The MERCEDES-BENZ, division of the then DAIMLER-CHRYSLER AG, began working on the successor to the W163, the product was the unibody W164, that was introduced the same year as the WK, Grand Cherokee, by the Jeep division of Daimler-Chrysler AG, oh by the way , Jeep began work on the WK, before MB began on the W164, and introduced the WK GC in 2004, so one can say the WK was the inspiration for there then sister divisions aspirations.

        In 2006 Jeep, a Divisions of Daimlet-Chrysler AG set about to develop successors to the WK Platform.
        The result was tbe WK2 platform, which the Grand Cherokee (along with the 2011 Durango) share. The WK2 platform that was a Chrysler ( Jeep ) designed and engineered platform/chassis also became the foundation for the Mercedes-Benz’s W166 series.

        As for who is a derivative of who, can’t say, just that the WK2, came out a full year, before the W166, and as for the WK2, BEING OLD, it’s been updated 4 times since it’s introduction in 2011 model year, versus 1 facelift for the ML, in 2015, when it was rebranded as the GLE.

    • Moveon Libtards

      But how come FIAT sells more cars than Mercedes? Just sayin…

    • Nick099

      That’s dumb both factually and critically.

      The question to be asked of someone who has made such a dumb comment should be; have you ever driven a 300…especially the SRT? Probably not. Performance-wise it is real-world formidable. Maintenance wise it is real cheap…those air suspensions found in many high-dollar sedans are multiple thousands per wheel for repair, etc.,etc.

      As an example try buying a used AMG 12 cylinder anything. Great initial price with a maintenance bill that will put you in the poor house.

      The LX Platform according to DC back in the day (2004), claims a new design with a minimal reliance on the MB parts bin. The trans is a MB derived unit however, that is not only strong and tuneable ( as in AMG ) but inexpensive as it is found everywhere.

      Lastly if you are old enough, you might remember a time not so long ago, when MB changed models once every 10 to 15 years. Their quality was second to none back then and the cars were coveted by all….and they lasted….like a solid piece of iron. Many are still on the road today.
      MB even has a factory to make parts for every MB every made.

      Ford ran its Fox body in a Mustang for decades. Somehow they managed to do very well ( even though I am no fan).

      • Bo Hanan

        Nick you miss the point. And I could tell you to kiss my ass but over the internet its impossible. But kiss it anyway. And the next time you need “all the attention” try being the first to comment on the article- instead of seeking the top comment to respond to with your bull. Pathetic!
        P.S. a blog is not a place to write your dissertation.

  • Ilbirs

    A possibility for future announcements about Chrysler and Dodge is for them to be made by Sergio Marchionne’s successor in a future moment as a mean of making him/her seem as the guy who saved these brands despite telling to the public about a plan that was set when Marchionne was the one in charge.

  • TrevP

    I really hope to see a new Dodge line up and then a luxury version of the line up. That’s what Dodge and Chrysler are supposed to be.

    • Status

      Dodge shouldn’t/doesn’t need a luxury version of their range. That is/was Chrysler’s job. Dodges shouldn’t be going for Chrysler money.

      • TrevP

        You obviously didn’t read/understand my comment.

  • Craig

    Great news!! Hopefully Marchionne’s replacement will be a HUGE fan of both the Dodge AND Chrysler brand. Fact is… it would take very little to make Chrysler something great again.

    • Alfa Giulia QV

      I admire your optimism.

    • Eythan Aldrich

      You sir…..yes you……you have my appreciation

  • Jason Miller

    I feel like the Challenger and Charger play a big role, even if they don’t sell as much as they could. I do see them everywhere, and the local car shows every weekend are full of them.

    • I always thought they are sold quite okay, especially Charger fleet sales is quite high, market do moves to SUV, but there is always a market for saloon, especially saloon with unique identity like Charger.

  • Alfa Giulia QV

    Well that’s a relief. In the meantime, could they at least give the 300 another update in the meantime just to try and keep it fresh?

  • Craig

    So Marchionne wants ‘Chrysler’ to become FCA’s ‘Plymouth’. sigh. Not exactly what I want to hear. I’m hoping the love-fest for SUV’s will cool down some time soon.

    • Classic Bob

      Plymouth had more hope and vehicles in 1999, than Chrysler does now. While it didn’t go down in the blaze of glory it could have (which i suspect Dodge still might), it still showed life with the Prowler and planned PT Cruiser.

      Sergio no longer calls Chrysler premium or mainstream (as in the last presentation). It’s now the “people mover” brand. To me that sounds like one minivan and nothing else. Good-bye 300.

  • Well if it’s true Sergio platform can be used for next gen Charger/Challenger and 300, come on. If you can spend money in making Giorgio in really short period of time, pretty sure you have a spare change to modified it for them. Dodge and Chrysler (and maybe to some extent Fiat) could have shared SUV platform, hell take it from Jeep if you want to be cheapskate.

  • Six Thousand Times

    That means they’ll keep trying different shades of lipstick on that old pig until no one buys it anymore.

  • OdysseyTag

    I felt that man!

  • Harry Nimmergut

    Aww, drats. I really was hoping for the next Charger, Challenger and 300 to be on the Alfa platform. Or maybe an extended Fiat 500 chassis. NOT! Goes to show that this idiotic company is a one-trick-pony. Rework an ancient platform or go Italian. Either way, critics won’t be happy with the result. Potential buyers probably won’t either.

  • Paul

    I don’t think Sergio knows whether he is coming or going sometimes

  • john1168

    Sooo, they will remain on what’s BASICALLY the same platform but they’ll just put on new sheet metal and new interior and call it all new… Sounds to me that, although they’re not killing off Chrysler, they don’t really want it (and Dodge) either. They don’t want to invest a ton of money into them because they don’t know what to do with them. It appears they would be perfectly happy if they both just disappeared and a big pile of cash was left in their place. Sad.

  • Arthur Dunning III

    I, too, am interested in an explanation on how the current platform is supposed to be “bad” for the Challenger and Charger.

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