Report: Fiat Brand Likely to Be Killed Off in the US
Fiat Chrysler will eventually phase out the Fiat brand in the United States, according to a new report from Automotive News.
FCA is set to detail its five-year plan this Friday in what will be the final major presentation to occur under the guidance of CEO Sergio Marchionne. The executive, who is credited with helping the once-troubled automaker return to profitability throughout his 14-year stint with the company, will retire in April of 2019.
That product plan will allegedly include ending sales of Fiat branded vehicles in the US and confining Chrysler to domestic operations only. Going forward, Fiat will sell only the 500 and Panda models, with sales limited to Europe, Brazil and other foreign markets. Fiat will also pull out of China after failing to gain traction in the region.
Timing for the plan is so far unclear, but Italian union reactions could cause delays, AN says. Italy’s Fiom Cgil union is expected to host an event on Thursday prior to Friday’s meeting, where concerns about the future of vehicle production in the country will likely be addressed.
FCA is rumored to cease manufacturing of low-profit, mass-market cars in Italy, focusing production efforts on high-end vehicles from its Maserati and Alfa Romeo brands.
The report also says FCA may consolidate Maserati’s Alfa Romeo’s earnings reports – which would likely be the first step to selling the companies off.
Naturally, the popular and profit-heavy Jeep brand will take center stage at FCA going forward, with Jeep’s global expansion set to ramp up in coming years. Ram trucks, which in addition to Jeep serve as FCA’s cash cow in North America, will also begin to be sold globally.
Official details on the five-year plan will become available on Friday.
[Source: Automotive News]
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