Chrysler's Future Aims at Mainstream

Chrysler-700c-concept

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' Investor Day is rolling along, and the company has revealed a complete rethink of Chrysler's brand positioning as well as which brands it intends to view as competitors. Chrysler will now go head-to-head with mainstream brands in the U.S. such as Ford, Hyundai, Honda, Chevrolet and Toyota; it will no longer be considered a premium brand by the company, but rather its volume brand. Chrysler will be the only midsize sedan and minivan brand at FCA; the Dodge Grand Caravan and Avenger sedan will be discontinued, as the company finally decides to stop pitting Chrysler and Dodge brands against each other in its showrooms.

What Jeep's Future Looks Like

This means a rethink of the vehicle lineup at Chrysler as well, banking on North American-made vehicles and an American image that will be spread across more segments. Currently Chrysler participates in only three segments: minivans and full- and mid-size cars. The brand is set to expand by 2018 to include a compact car and mid- and full-size SUVs. Here's what to expect from Chrysler over the next five years:

  • A refresh of the 300 sedan happens in mid-2014.
  • An all-new Chrysler 100 compact sedan arrives mid-2016.
  • The Town & Country minivan is replaced with an all-new model in mid-2016 and is joined by a plug-in hybrid version (concept pictured above).
  • A new full-size crossover joins the Town & Country in mid-2017, also with a plug-in hybrid variant.
  • The just-introduced 200 sedan gets a makeover in mid-2017.
  • A mid-size 200-based crossover arrives in 2018, along with a redesigned version of the 300 sedan.

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

Comments 

Jay

Bad move...Public perception of Chrysler is already a premium brand which other automakers like Hyundai and Kia are trying to get to. With that being said, how are they going to position the Dodge brand which is already considered a volume brand like Chevy and Fords?

WTF

Seriously 2 more years until a new minivan?

Julio

Should have kept it with the premium brand image. this is a big mistake on FCA. I can see it happening, especially with all the luxury goodies that the 300 has.

Frogstein

I don't get it. Luxury cars are where the money is. Why would they want to abandon such a lucrative segment?

hummmm

Might be a good idea for FC to purchase Hyundia or Kia, or at least contract with them for use of their engines and transmissions to replace their own 4 cylinder and V6 engines, that have a poor reputation for longevity and dependability. Future engines need to have water pumps that are not driven by timing belts/chains so there would be no chance of oil contamination with coolant. Poor old Chrysler just can't seem to get it right, no matter who owns them!

Wow.

Congrats, Honda!

The Odyssey may no longer be the fugliest minivan out there! Yeesh!

JB

Believe me, no one who used to own or currently does not drive a Chrysler sees it as a premium brand by a long shot! haha,. If you ask me Fiat is setting itself up to do what should have been done 30 years ago, shut down this joke of a car company and liquidate it

Tony

The move is right. Speaking of luxury, who would speak Chrysler - some old lady? People thing BMW, MB, Lexus. May be they bring the price down and some folks in the south will finally be able to afford a true American car

Steve

I can hardly imagine people associate Chrysler vehicles as a "premium brand", but maybe when you compare it to a Dodge, it does seem premium-ish. I guess plasti-chrome is what defines luxury. Kinda sad.

jyd

JB, Tony and Steve have it right. Chrysler is, in no way, a premium brand. The 200 has been at the bottom of its class for years. The 300 was exciting when introduced but has grown very, very stale. Oh, and they have a minivan. Premium, indeed.

jeff

What fiat is doing id destroying the american brand so the italians and germans etc...wont have any competition in the luxury market in america or globally...in turn american cars will once again be looked upon as jokes of the industry at home and abroad.

Stephen Marcus

Chrysler hasn't been a true premium brand since the 1960s. In terms of American brands, it couldn't keep up with Buick.
This plan is smart. Chrysler LLC is like a deconstructed Ford or Chevy with Chrysler brand dealing in vanilla product like Fusion, Edge, Cruze; Dodge handling Mustang/Corvette/SS; Ram taking on F Series;Jeep tackling trail worth SUVs like GMC product and Ford Explorer.
FCA has killed Dodge as a stand alone brand. The new company lacks the capital for two product lines. Also, too many Chrysler & Dodge products share showrooms.
I just wish FCA would get products into showrooms and forget about that money put called Alfa Romano.

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