What a Chrysler-Fiat Lineup Might Look Like

Chryslertimeline

Included in the restructuring plan Chrysler announced in February were plans for new vehicles, many of which would be joint ventures with Fiat. Unlike GM, Chrysler has made no mention of what current products it will shed. The models Chrysler has announced future plans for include a 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, 2011 Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and, yes, a new Dodge Durango full-size SUV.

That’s all we know. But what might a Chrysler-Fiat lineup look like? All we can do is speculate, and that we have. What follows are our best guesses, using the restructuring plan’s timetable and our knowledge of products that are underperforming now.

Chrysler
The Chrysler brand has the most issues and the fewest new products. It would likely get rid of the PT Cruiser in favor of a compact car or hatchback borrowed from Fiat, like the Bravo we mentioned earlier this week. The 300 will get redesigned as a 2011 model, but the underperforming Sebring could be shelved until the two companies figure out a substitute. Fiat doesn’t have a product that fits American midsize tastes to compete with the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. However, Fiat could provide efficient powertrains for a Chrysler-designed sedan; the company already had a new midsize sedan slated for 2012 as part of its restructuring plan.

  • Chrysler 500 (based on Fiat 500)
  • Chrysler Bravo (based on Fiat Bravo)
  • Chrysler 300
  • Chrysler Sebring
  • Chrysler Town & Country

Dodge
Dodge still sells a lot of cars and trucks, especially the Ram, which was redesigned last year. Expect any compact sedan from Fiat to also be picked up by Dodge to replace the poorly performing Caliber. An electric sports car has also been announced as a future Dodge product for 2010, though we’re unsure how that makes sense in a time of economic distress. We fully expect the Dodge Nitro to be officially shelved.

  • Dodge Bravo Hatchback
  • Dodge Charger
  • Dodge Challenger
  • Dodge Dakota (to be replaced by “lifestyle truck” in 2013)
  • Dodge Durango
  • Dodge Grand Caravan 
  • Dodge Journey (to be replaced in 2012 by Fiat product)

Jeep
Jeep is probably best able to shed a few lackluster products and revamp a few that need it, with or without Fiat’s help. Look to see the current Liberty disappear like the Nitro, leaving a slimmer Jeep.

  • Jeep Patriot (to be replaced by Fiat-sourced compact)
  • Jeep Wrangler
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee

Comments 

Ziggy

Bring over the Doblo!

Max Reid

Chrysler 300 is a Big Sedan with V8 engine.
Chrysler 500 (from Fiat) will be a Small Hatchback with v4 engine.

Does not sound good. Typically the model with bigger # will be a bigger vehicle.

I think they can start selling under Fiat brand itself.

So
Fiat will sell Hatchbacks, Wagons
Chrysler will sell Sedans
Dodge will sell Pickups and Minivans
Jeep will sell SUV and Crossovers.

That will be better.

SouthTX

I would like to keep the Jeep Liberty, it is a great car but with a Diesel engine.

Old enough to remember

I just hope Fiat has done something about their quality and reliability since they abandoned the U.S. market years ago. As someone who knew numerous people who owned Fiats (even if I was personally smart enough never to buy one), I watched those friends and relatives suffer incessantly with the constant stream of niggling issues and major disasters common to Fiat ownership.

They fully lived up to the old joke from that era that Fiat stood for, "Fix It Again, Tony." My brother, who owned a 124 Sport Spyder, came to understand that the most popular phrase that came out of the Fiat dealer's service manager's mouth was, "Yeah, they're all doing that." He heard it just about every time he came in with another problem to have fixed.

It rained the evening of the day my brother took delivery of his Fiat. I remember that because the next morning he had to bail a couple of inches of water out the interior of it, despite having the top up and the windows closed. There was an unplugged hole left in the windshield cowl area that allowed all the water that ran into heater intake grill at the base of the windshield to pour down into the interior behind the instrument panel. That was his first day of ownership; things went downhill from there.

Just keep in mind that Fiat didn't abandon the U.S. market because they were in such high demand. If the stuff that gets imported from Fiat and rebadged as Chrysler product is anything like the Fiats of the old days, just turn out the lights at Chrysler now and save the taxpayer all the cash that's going to go down the drain.

Mark

Yeah seriously- when did you ever hear of a reliable fiat? You know, if the government wants to let auto makers fail, well fine. But at least have the common sense to fund NEW AUTO startups! I bet there are dozens of potential car makers out there with incredible ideas. And yes, America needs its own brands and CAN support its own brands. After all, if Germany and Japan can have car manufacturers, then why not the U.S? And finally, about Fiat-- weren't they bankrupt like last year?

Daniel

We'll thats the end of Dodge! Fiat build POS cars (worse than Saturns) Even the European's (I was reading some UK forums) are making fun of the future of Chrysler-Fiat. I have a 09 Dodge Avenger R/T, and I love that car to death. I'll never buy a Fiat.

Jason

Hey, at least it wasn't Peugeot!

Bob Cattera

My first car was a 1957 Fiat 1100 that I bought in 1965. My current daily driver is a 1981 Fiat X1/9 with 230,000 miles on the clock. Yesterday was the first time I've been towed home, the water pump belt broke. I bought a new one at the local auto parts store and was on the road in less than 2 hours. Fiats? Bring 'em on.

Mark

I drove a 2008 Fiat Panda in Italy. I doesn't look like much, but for an econo-box, it was great. Not a choppy ride, handles nice, we drove through bendy Tuscan roads. peppy and great on gas. We got the turbo Diesel, which would probably not come to the US, since it is diesel.

Zach

Most of you are referring to the 80s fiats! I've been to europe twice in the past 5 years, and rented a fiat one of those times. It was really not a bad car! Lets face it chrysler cars are not worth the money. I would rather drive a kia for thousands less.

d

would rather see a Chrysler MiTo or next 159! Don't care much for Fiat.

d

see a chrysler grille on a mito on my flickr page

After outlining a new lineup for Chrysler, Dodge-Jeep I realized that I just recapitulated the entire product line. Seems like they already have all the cars I thought they needed...just nobody wants one of them. I really don't understand Chrysler. To me, it's always been a third tier American car choice, discounting a few products in their lineup. Aside from the many jobs lost, I think this is a great opportunity for the auto industry to do something innovative. How bout internet configuration/purchasing? How bout dealerships that are mainly for test drives and service and value added services? So many things could happen if these folks would just think outside the box and maybe take some cues from other industries or comapanies like Amazon or Apple.

neverwinterSF

Why Peugeot abanded USA? Peugeot 308 and 407 re very sexy cars.

Bob

I have owned Toyotas, Hondas, and Nissans for many years. I enjoyed these cars and trucks. Like most, I felt I received good value and quality for my investment. When it came time this year to replace my Tacoma, I decided I'd like to by American and support the people who may be affected by this horrible recession. I bought a Jeep. Some of it may be built outside the US, but the majority is built here. My purchase of a Jeep, is a specialty I've wanted my all my adult life. I feel in some small way, my purchase of a Chrysler product may help a dealer, a mechanic, an engineer, a line installer, a parts dealer, and others, stay employed. I like my Jeep very much. It performs well, and I have learned that my Jeep will be serviced well. Chrysler is in a tough place. But you know what... they're not going to throw in the towel. They're going to make sure that what ever they have left, will be treated as the very best the auto industry can provide. When you're down... you can only go up. I bought Jeep, I bought Chrysler, I bought American.

perhaps the lack of new products to introduce in the market is due to the slight financial instability that Chrysler has been aching for for months. Perhaps the better move for them now is to just improve on what they currently have which means lesser expenses for the, I just hope that they continue on producing cars with durable chrysler parts.

Yusuf

I have been driving FIAT's for the last 10years or so (1999 FIAT Sienna Station Wagon, 2003 FIAT Palio Hatch and now the FIAT LINEA Sedan), and can say that they are better than any Japanese cars that I have used.

Bruce

FIAT's were bad in the 80's, so too was Hyundai. Look what happened. They focussed in Quality and now Toyota and Honda fear them. FIAT too has changed for the better. Sergio knows what he is doing and give this partnership five years. If all goes well Chrysler can be on top again. Chrysler needs a little of TLC after being raped by Mercedes. Also, John Elkann the FIAT heir is half American and lives in New York when he can.

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