Home / Auto News / News article: Report: Fiat's Five Year Chrysler Group Plan, Model by Model Breakdown - AutoGuide.com News
 |  Nov 09 2009, 5:20 PM

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Last week Fiat/Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne set out a long-winded plan for the future of the American automaker and how its future will be closely tied to its new Italian parent company. There was a lot to digest at the seven hour press conference and so we thought a model by model breakdown would be helpful and would shed some light on what appears to be the general plan to eliminate old Chrysler products and replace them with new Chrysler Group-branded Fiat models. So let’s start with Dodge…

DODGE BRAND

From the smallest to the largest vehicles, Dodge will see the introduction of a subcompact car in 2013 based on the Alfa Romeo MiTo. Currently Dodge does not offer a sub-compact with its smallest offering being the compact Caliber, which receives a mild update this year but will be eliminated in 2012 and then replaced the same year by a Fiat Group-based vehicle. Presumably it will be another Alfa Romeo platform, however, the car will be built in the U.S.

Moving to the mid-size segment, the Avenger will also be updated for 2010 and then replaced by a Fiat Group platform in 2013.

The future for the Journey, Grand Caravan and Charger is more positive, with the Journey and Grand Caravan getting updates for 2010 with a new Grand Caravan due in 2014. The Charger will be all-new for 2011 with a new interior and exterior, after originally launching in 2006. A new rear suspension will also be part of the package. As for its Challenger sibling, it will be updated for the 2012 model year.

Two vehicles that will be eliminated are the Nitro and Viper, with the Nitro slated to be scraped in 2011 (with a possible successor), while the Viper will cease production mid next year with a potential sports car replacing it in 2012.

One new model will be added to the Dodge lineup; a seven-seater crossover based on the new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee (pictured above).

RAM BRAND

The new Ram brand still won’t have a lot going on, although Fiat is looking to expand its offerings. The Dakota is scheduled to cease production late in 2011 with a possible unibody pickup to replace it. As for the Ram 1500, it will get a mid-cycle refresh in 2012, as will the heavy duty Ram trucks. A chassis cab version of the Ram will also arrive in 2010.

Two additions to the lineup include a front-drive small work van and full-sized van in 2012. The small van will be similar in purpose to Ford’s Transit Connect and will be based on the next-generation Fiat Doblo. It will be imported from either Turkey or Brasil. As for Ram’s new full-sized van offering, it will be one of two vehicles: either the body-on frame Iveco Daily or the unibody Fiat Ducato. Unlike the small van, this full-sized unit will be assembled in the U.S.

CHRYSLER BRAND

Starting in the small scale, the Chrysler Brand will also get a subcompact, although (surprisingly) it will not be based on the same Alfa Romeo vehicle as the Dodge sub-compact. Instead, it will be underpinned by the next-generation Lancia Ypsilon five-door hatch and will go on sale in 2013.

A new compact sedan (based on a Fiat Group platform) will be launched in 2012. It is not clear if the Fiat Group platform is the same one that will underpin the Dodge compact sedan. The same can be said for the Sebring, which, like its current Dodge counterpart (the Avenger) will get styling updates next year and be replaced by a Fiat Group platform in 2013.

As for the PT Cruiser, it will be eliminated late next year – although we’ve heard that one before.

The Chrysler 300, like the Dodge Charger, will be all-new for 2011 with the new model arriving some time next year. Styling is expected to be evolutionary, so don’t expect much change – which is probably a good thing.

And as for Chrysler’s final product, the Town & Country minivan, it will get updates next year with a new model in 2014. Fiat hopes to differentiate the Chrysler minivan from its Dodge counterpart by taking it more up-market. (Have we learned nothing from the R-Class?)

JEEP BRAND

Finally, there’s the Jeep brand, where we’ve already learned the Patriot, Compass and Commander will be eliminated over the next few years. The first to meet the scrap heap is the Commander, with production ending late next year, while the Patriot and Compass will be get mild updates for 2010 before being retired in 2012. Interestingly, Fiat may build and sell the Commander overseas after 2010.

At the low end of the spectrum, a new subcompact SUV will arrive in 2013 based on the next generation Fiat Panda Cross, while a new compact crossover will arrive the same year based on an unnamed Fiat Group platform. A new Liberty will also arrive that year, again based on a Fiat.

As for Jeep’s core vehicles, the Wrangler will get a new interior next year, with a new engine offered in 2011. The Grand Cherokee will continue on as planned with the new model debuting next year as a 2011 model.

[Source: Automotive News]

  • Jim Ashenbrenner

    What is Jeep thinking? Sorry but from a engineering standpoint Jeep is alienating its prime focus group. Building the new wrangler with a 3.8 V-6 taken from the chrysler mini van?. Let me know how that works out for you. This V-6 is Junk, don’t take my word for it, asked any dealership mechanic. I am a real Jeep guy. I have owned four jeeps. I currently own a 47 Willys CJ-2a (restored) and a 69 CJ. My last jeep was a 97 Grand Cherokee. Sorry but the wranglers are barbie Jeeps. Jeep build and engineering is so lacking in quality they are not even a consideration for a new vehicle purchase. I love my old Jeeps, but I also have two new Toyotas. Jeep needs to learn a lesson about long term customers, while they still have some.

  • The Wilbur

    Jeep needs to Sell the JT diesel in the US.

  • It’s Me

    No viper? I don’t care if it’s not a big seller, that’s just stupid.

  • get real

    about everything in that article will ruin that company, guess its the big two in the U.S. now, what is left isnt being marketed to us anymore.

  • gerrald mitchell

    my first new car was a ’66 Dodge Charger. I’ve had 19 more Chrysler products since, to include the one I have now, a 2009 Challenger Hemi’ I probably won’t have another. I’m going
    Ford, from now on.

  • JIm

    I guess Fiat will drive the last nail in the coffin! They seam determined to destroy Chrysler/dodge/jeep and make some version of their own cars here. Why even bother? No one is buying Chrysler products today. Who will buy one after Fiat gets through raping all of the models and turning them into some wimpy little POS?

  • James Bowen

    If Chrysler will not keep up with the new camero and the mustang 5.0 in horse power I will have to go with Ford. Chrysler is trying very hard to stay the number three us auto maker. I do not understand why they want to be in last place.I love the new dodge challenger but its over priced and needs at least another 75 horse power. Ford has done it, GM did it, come on Chrysler you can do it too.

  • Chad

    Fiat does not understand the US market. Their marketing moves prove this. Americans have very much different requirements and tastes in cars and trucks than Europeans or Asians. For example, 90 HP sub-compacts just don’t cut on our highways. We have a word for cars like that, “Road kill.” And Muscle Cars are supposed to be objects of HP-abuse. They serve no other purpose in life. If you want a responsible car, you buy a normal 4-door sedan.

  • bob

    the 3.8 is a great engine its has great low end torque .i have 92 new yorker and a 06 mini van both with over 200,000 miles.

  • ron

    In America we have diverse terain, mountain roads, snowy roads and big potholes. We need cars, SUV’s and trucks with strong construction, and suspension that can take some abuse, control arms made of steel, not aluminum, and trucks and SUV’s with upper/lower control arms, not macpherson struts like glorified tall cars. Vehicles cost too mutch nowadays not to last a long time, and be sturdy for at least 10 years. And by the way, does everything need to be unit body construction?

  • KML

    Fiat wasted a lot of time on a five year plan. The direction they’re going, at least as it pertains to U.S. customers, a three year plan was more than sufficient. There won’t be a fourth year. What devoted Chrysler customer is going to buy a Fiat?