Will crazy Marchionne kill Chrysler this Friday?

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It sure looks like it…

There is a big FCA investors meeting this Friday, and a big rumor the crazy accountant will announce the death of Chrysler.
(Which is what he has been looking to do for for years now

After fake announcements of upcoming new models like a redesigned 300. Or a new crossover.
(That was probably all BS all along.) Since all he wants is raise the price of FCA stock so he and his buddies can make a fortune when leaving the company.
Which explains why all R&D money seems to be going to “big profit maker” Jeep.

A move away from cars is still not a good reason to kill the legendary American brand.
Ford didn’t just kill its brand when they announced they would produce cars anymore.
Chrysler can be re-invented. But that takes smart “car” people who really want to do this.
A greedy/lucky accountant is not that guy..

Dodge is probably next. Another FCA brand with no new model in sight….

I personally thing someone should grab Chrysler/Dodge from Marchionne.
Probably a Chinese company. Anything.

What do you think?

(More on this rumor, HERE. From Autonews)

Conversation 20 comments

  1. Chrysler is too far gone, I’m afraid. Restyle the Pacifica as a Dodge and put it to rest. Id prefer that to having a lineup of Chinese junk with tacked Chrysler logos.

    Also, reintegrate Ram with Dodge. Do that and the Dodge lineup will be somewhat healthy.

  2. Basically, Jeep and RAM will be all that remains in the U.S. once the dust settles. It won’t matter anyway since everything FCA produces is pure junk. I was reading some recent customer reviews on Jeep and RAM vehicles. All I saw were complaints about reliability issues. It’s a shame that FCA has failed to push Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep/RAM to their full potential or bothered to fix their reliability issues.

    Fiat’s reintroduction into the U.S. market has been a big failure and the brand will more than likely be discontinued here.

    The probability of another vehicle manufacturer purchasing Dodge and/or Chrysler is almost nonexistent.

    What a sad end for Chrysler and Dodge; two brands that had a lot of potential if they would have been managed by competent visionaries instead of shortsighted bean counters.

  3. This is sad. I have no idea if this will happen, but if it does, what will happen to the Pacifica? It's brand new. Will it just be put out to pasture or rebranded as some other FCA brand? Unlikely that Jeep would have a minivan, and probably not any more likely RAM would. So that leaves the Euro brands… a FIAT maybe or… can you imagine an Alfa Romeo minivan?

  4. Let it die, in the last decade I have never heard anyone say they wanted a Chrysler vehicle. It's become the Oldsmobile of today.

  5. The only value that the Chrysler/Dodge brands would have to a foreign vehicle manufacturer would be if an existing dealership network was part of the deal. That way, the vehicle manufacturer could simply rebadge its products to sell in the US (assuming the products met US regulations and standards). Unfortunately, most US dealerships carry all four “domestic” brands (Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep/RAM), which means FCA would also need to turn loose of Jeep and RAM in order for the deal to work (which is highly unlikely since Jeep and RAM are FCA’s global cash cows).

    If a foreign manufacturer already had a dealership network in place to sell vehicles under the Chrysler/Dodge brands in the US, then the deal could possibly work. Geely would be the only Chinese manufacturer in this position, if it could manage to sell its vehicles through existing Volvo dealerships; Chrysler/Dodge would then be mainstream brand counterparts to Volvo’s premium market position. Renault/Nissan could also possibly use this arrangement to sell rebadged Renault products as Chrysler vehicles in Mitsubishi dealerships. The Chrysler brand’s lineup would be slightly upmarket from Mitsubishi and feature cars (Megane and Talisman), as well as crossovers (Captur, Kadjar, and Koleos). Some type of three row crossover would need to be added to the mix, which shouldn’t be a big issue since a donor platform already exists in the Renault/Nissan alliance. VW could also use its dealerships to sell Skoda and Seat vehicles under the Chrysler/Dodge brand names, but that seems like it would be way too much product overlap in the dealerships and the market in general.

    I don’t see any of the above scenarios happening, so we may as well prepare ourselves to say goodbye to Chrysler and Dodge once the current vehicles reach the end of their current lifespans (which are actually overdue).

  6. I think Chrysler DOES need to be killed. And Fiat, too. Neither brand has inequity left in them anywhere in the world. There's just no point.

    If FCA killed Chrysler and Fiat, got rid of Maserati, and dumped Ram back into Dodge, they'd have 3 main brands – Dodge as a full line American brand, the outdoor Jeep brand, and the European luxury brand Alfa. All 3 have different takes on the adventurous, active lifestyle, and they could easily use common platforms across all 3. You can easily see how a Dodge Durango, a Jeep Wagoneer, and an Alfa Romeo crossover could all be built on the same platform yet be very different vehicles.

  7. You cannot speculate on a new 300 being "fake", when you don't even have the hard evidence of the internal developments at work in CTC. A new model can already be designed and just be a fiberglass mock-up, as a working representation of the final design.

    Funds are just hard to come by, so completion of development (engineering sign-off) is just protracted out for the upcoming Charger, as is the case with many other FCA projects. Doesn't mean they don't exist, simply because you haven't seen them.

    The new JL Wrangler and DT Ram final looks were pretty much defined in 2014.

  8. He's going to pull Chrysler from markets outside the US & Canada, not kill it off entirely. Internationally, it's an incredibly weak brand, so it makes sense to consolidate it in North America, where it still has some ability to move cars. He's also rumoured to be announcing the withdrawal of the Fiat brand from the United States, which again makes sense, because it's fairly strong in Europe and South America, but weaker than watered down spirits in the US market.

  9. To the person who said we couldn't speculate on the new 300 being fake as there was no hard evidence of that…respectfully, there is more evidence it's fake then there is that it exists.
    – No mules
    – No spy shots
    – No rumblings that it exists
    – No leaks from dealers that it exists.

    The only thing we have that might hint of it's existence is a very dated 5-year plan, which history has shown is about 50/50 in execution.

    So, there is about as much credible evidence that there is a new 300 as there is DNA proof of Big Foot.

  10. You call the accountant greedy/lucky. I call him brilliant. First, by agreeing to buy Chrysler when no one else in the world wanted it. Second, by recognizing that trucks and SUV’s were where all the profits are and jettisoning everything else. Along the way he had to appear to promote FIAT (to appease the Italian unions)and small cars like the Dart (to appease the Obama administration), but now the company is financially strong enough to leave those kinds of money losers behind and put all their chips on money-making light trucks, with a side bet on premium products like Alfa and Maserati (which will also make most of their profits from SUV’s as time goes on).

    FCA’s best play remains a sale or faux merger, but they can thrive for the foreseeable future as an independent until the right deal comes along. That’s a huge contrast with just a few years ago when every comment about the company focused on what then seemed to be unworkable levels of debt. Well, the accountant’s strategy solved the debt problem. Today’s big concern is whether FCA can succeed in an era of autonomy and electrification. As Waymo’s agreement this week to purchase 60,000 Pacifica’s for autonomous operation shows, FCA has the option of working with the industry autonomy leader if need be. I’m guessing that they’re holding off on a full scale agreement with Waymo or Apple to avoid conflicts with potential purchasers who have their own autonomy development programs. On electrification, Bosch and other suppliers can provide state of the art components as needed.

    The bottom line is that the accountant’s strategy has taken a failing FIAT and turned it into a competitive FCA. If getting there means sending dying brands like Chrysler and Dodge off to the great automotive graveyard in the sky along with Studebaker, Rambler, Oldsmobile, Plymouth, Pontiac and so many others, all I can say is that they had a great run but all things must pass.

  11. Product plans announced today. No new products for Chrysler or Dodge within the next five years. Basically, Fiat wanted Jeep and RAM and that will be all that remains when all is said and done. The days are numbered for Chrysler and Dodge.

  12. Scott that is still a weak argument. First off, it is disingenuous to be expecting prototypes or test mules of such a vehicle this early. A Cbrysler vehicle due at the end of 2020, will not be seen testing at this point. Standard operating procedure by FCA, for specific reasons. I have no idea why you would expect otherwise.

    The JL program suffered delays after start of early mule testing in 2015, so don't use that as an example. (just in case)

    Who said there have not been any "rumblings"? It's obviously not here, but confined to one place or two, not the whole internet. One has to look deep. I highly doubt that anything FCA, is referenced from top online sources (commentary from CTC or FCA personnel), by this website. Just general above-the-surface auto media or late stage spy shots show up here.

    Dealers are hardly going to know about many vehicles at this stage. The "original" next Charger (LF) and Challenger (LB) might have been shown in August 2015 alongside the JL Wrangler, but that was because they were intended as MY2018s. Being pushed back 3 years, required some touching up. The actual final articles are barely being shown to dealer principals as intended for production. Let alone a new 300 (LY).

    Like I said to Vince, you are getting way ahead of yourself and making opinionated assumptions, not based in any fact. 80-90% of product planning is confidential, so the idea you haven't heard anything doesn't mean much.

    Calling it fake all along is a bunch of nonsense, being purely fallacy based on nothing credible. If a running version of the Charger wasn't shown in 2015 and mentioned for public ears to hear, you all would be making the same claimss against the Charger (LF) and Challenger (LB).

  13. Hey Vince, cut the crap about the “legendary” brand. You had the same issue about losing SAAB. The market speaks loudly and those in charge listen. No reason to keep Chrysler around.

  14. Looks like there is a new 300/Charger on the way, according to this morning's news. It will be an evolution of the current platform, not a badge-engineered Alfa. Lighter, faster, more efficient, but still sized for America and Americans.

  15. James… please show me where in the 5 year plan they discuss any product innovation for Chrysler or Dodge. Then tell me I’m wrong about my earlier comments.

    I get they’re going to be confidential with innovation, but to not have any reference to it in their company 5 year plan spells doom for both brands. A tragic ending as well I might add.

  16. I don't think they are idiots.
    Greedy, dishonest, liars. But not idiots.

    They are just money people who pretend to run a car company. Making a very quick profit before getting out.
    Their decisions are very short terms.
    By the time the market turns back to more than "just trucks and SUVs" they will all be long gone.
    And Ford will be in the same trouble.

    Putting all your eggs in the same basket has never been a good idea…

  17. Based on what would I be wrong? The lack of a new 300?

    Doesn't mean it wasn't in concept planning. A new Wrangler and 1500 entered planning in late 2011.

    Commitments were made to the DT and JL programs in 2014.

    Claiming a new model was "fake all along" is the real BS, versus that it was just abandoned down the road.

  18. …Based in the lack of about half of their ‘planned’ vehicles. Vince is actually, in a way, giving FCA leadership some credit here. One of two scenarios is true:
    A) FCA leadership are a bunch of idiots and failed phenomenally at being a car company
    B) FCA leadership are not a bunch of idiots and ,for whatever reason, knowingly presented an overly optimistic and unachievable product plan.

    Vince is assuming they aren’t idiots.

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