Fiat to Gut Chrysler Lineup

Update 11/5/09: Fiat and Chrysler have officially announced lineups for the future which directly counter the claims made in the Wall Street Journal story mentioned in the below post. Click on the following links for the formal lineups.

The Future Chrysler Lineup
The Future Jeep Lineup
The Future Dodge Lineup

The Wall Street Journal reported today Fiat’s future plan for Chrysler, a full week before the company is to meet in a closed-door session with analysts and media to reveal its intentions.

The article is striking in its detail and scope of Fiat’s restructuring. Nearly the entire Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep lineups will be replaced in five years by not only Fiat technology and products but also the return of Alfa Romeo as a luxury marquee slated above Chrysler.

We break down the product shifts below.

Dead Cars in Red
 
Chrysler
  • PT Cruiser
  • Sebring
  • Town and Country
  • 300: Redesign in 2011
  • Fiat 500: 2011
Dodge
  • Caliber
  • Nitro
  • Avenger
  • Grand Caravan
  • Charger: Redesign in 2011
  • Challenger
  • Journey
  • Ram trucks
Jeep
  • Commander
  • Compass
  • Patriot
  • Wrangler
  • Grand Cherokee: Redesign in 2010
Alfa Romeo
  • MiTo
  • Milano (replacing 147)
  • Unnamed Mid-Size Sedan
The Fiat 500 will be made in Mexico while the three Alfa cars will be built somewhere in North America. Chrysler has plants in Canada, Mexico and the U.S.

The return of Alfa sounds like a tough sell to those who remember the brand. However, today's Audi and Infiniti buyers likely have no prior experience with Fiat and might welcome an Italian luxury product and its Ferrari familial ties. Plus, the Alfa designs of late have been nothing short of stunning.

Below are some current Alfa Romeo products that may make it to U.S. showrooms.

Chrysler as a brand is so weak that Alfa could easily supplant it to sit alongside Dodge and Jeep in U.S. dealerships. With a Chrysler lineup that has just two nameplates worth keeping, it might be the right time for such a bold move.

We’ll wait until we hear the plan firsthand next week to make an informed opinion, however, this report shows hope for the brand. Chrysler officials just have to pray the automaker can survive another two years before the new Fiat products go on sale.

Alfa159 

Alfa147 

Alfamito


Comments 

broq

Sounds good, but I don't think the Caravan should be dropped and the T&C kept. Minivans aren't luxury, so why keep the T&C in the Chrysler lineup? I think the Caravan should be kept and "Town and Country" should become high end trim level for it or something. Also, where is the Liberty?

Broq

TK

I'm hoping most of this isn't true, getting rid of the Grand Caravan is a dumb move especially if they want Chrysler to move upmarket. No luxury brand has a minivan. I too am wondering about the Liberty, dead along with the Nitro? I don't like the looks of this plan. Hope I'm wrong.

Adam Sylvester

I think they should move the journey to the Chrysler line-up, re name it. and re-do the interior to make it higher end. Keep the Caravan in Dodge and get ride of the T&C. An upper class crossover might sell better than an upper class minivan.

David

Just keep the Grand Cherokee, Wrangler, Caravan, Ram trucks. Scrap the rest and bring in Alfa Products.

DodgeFan

Well the most of these changes were known. The patriot drop is a mistake unless Fiat is going to bring their own mid-sized SUV over. I agree Dodge should have a mini-van instead of Chrysler. But they must be going muscle with Dodge. I got to agree with others where the Liberty if Nitro is going. Most of this was expected. I do not expect the rollout of Fiat to be smooth unless the market picks up.

skinner

Most of it makes perfect sense, except for the Caravan. This is an iconic name.

Tony

"...today's Audi and Infiniti buyers likely have no prior experience with Fiat and might welcome an Italian luxury product..."

They will gain it. Fiat is bottom of European reliability charts. I just don't understand, how one drek added to another drek can make the second drek better. Logically, it will make one even bigger drek.

Peppy

Caravan? what! dumb. They need the entry level minivan to just haul the kids around, not some luxury item. If they want luxury in the minivan let it be a sub model or something but don't get rid of the iconic name.

JM

to be honest, they should cut everything except the new Ram and redesigned 300 and Grand Cherokee.

they should at least redesign all of the models.

At least the PT Cruiser (no redesign in 10 model years), Sebring (remember the 2.7?), and all the redundant Jeeps are gonna go.

TK,
RE: Liberty was not mentioned by name in the report. It might not be axed alongside Nitro or at the same time although it would make sense to since they're on the same production line.

UK Diesel Driver

@Tony:

The 159 is based on a GM platform and is sold with engines Fiat share with GM. Quality for the 159 is done by the man that used to be responsible for the quality of the BMW 3. They are not bottom of reliability statistics anymore!

Ken L.

What about the Dodge Viper???

Ken L.

And Dodge Durango/Chrysler Aspen?

T&C should go, Caravan should stay, but everything else is ok. Alfa Romeo will have to prove itself in a crowded luxury and pseudo luxury field nowadays.

SG

its basically a consensus here, keep the Grand Caravan, the T&C isnt needed and can be added as a higher trim like broq said. i mean, a success like the Caravan shouldnt be dropped, it just needs to be refined. the Patriot is a great vehicle, alot better than the compass. its the average mans Jeep, something that is all Jeep but wont break the bank.
cant wait to see the 500 in the states. deffinately going to be my first new car purchase if they last.

Tony

I can't believe that some people here still have illusions of what is coming here...

Mark

Yes at one time Fiat was laughed at in Europe but no more. They have come a long long way in quality and reliability and are thought of as verry fine autos over there, and I hope they can bring their quality to America, but I do think getting rid of the Dodge Caravan may turn out in the long run to have ben a bad idea. Let's hope Fiat knows what they are doing.

jack

what about the dodge Dakota? It would be impossible for the company to get rid of the Nitro and liberty. unless they were to revamp the entire plant and strictly make fiat cars. This is the newest chrysler factory why get rid of it?

Marc Stager

I remember the grand marque of Chrysler Corporation, The Chrysler Imperial.

It would be nice to see a super luxury car built in the USA to compete with Europe's finest like the top Mercedes and Lexus - even Rolls Royce and Bentley.

Todd

I am excited to see the Fiat and Alfa brands enter the US after so many years. I hope they don't rebadge the cars with a Chrysler logo. Keep them what they are. The US brand names have lost cache(except Jeep); its better to inject new names into the fold.

The proposed Jeep lineup is curious. I would think a 3 model line up with the Wrangler, Liberty/Gr Cherokee sized middle vehicle, and a larger Commmander with 3 row seating would be ideal. To me, the current Gr. Cherokee is too small and may as well be a Liberty. Have 3 distinct sizes and go with it. Young people love Jeeps so keep them affordable.

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