Today in Auburn Hills, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles presented their five-year plan to the press and investors. The plan divulges what's in store for all of the brands in the coming years. The last time Chrysler did this back in 2009, many of the items shown were accurate (minus Alfa Romeo). We're going to fill you in on the plans in store for all of the brands and the company itself in the next few years.
Leading off the presentations today was Jeep. Brand CEO Mike Manley described the off-road brand as the "lead global brand" of the company. The brand plans on expanding its lineup from five nameplates to six and sell them in more countries. Jeep hopes by 2018, 1.9 million vehicles will be sold worldwide.
To pull this off, Jeep is planning to expand production and sales in China and Latin America with localized models for each market. Jeep will also expand U.S. production from 800,000 vehicles to 1 million vehicles.
On the model front, Jeep will introduce a replacement for the Compass and Patriot, along with a refreshed Cherokee in 2016. 2017 will see a brand new Wrangler and Grand Cherokee, along with a refreshed Renegade crossover. A new three-row SUV named the Grand Wagoneer will arrive in 2018 and sit above the Grand Cherokee.
Next up was Chrysler who announced some dramatic changes. First is that Chrysler is changing their focus from premium to mainstream and become FCA's volume brand. The brand has set a sales goal of 800,000 vehicles by 2018. An ambitious goal to say in the least, but Chrysler model plan they hope can achieve this.
It begins with the refresh of the 300 sedan which will debut later this year. Then in 2016, two big debuts happen. The first is the next-generation Town & Country, which will become the sole minivan in FCA's lineup. Following that is the 100 which will be a compact sedan. 2017 brings forth a midsize crossover, while a compact crossover comes a year later. A redesigned 300 is due in 2018.
Dodge took the stage next and the big news was a refocusing on the brand. The brand will change from being the mainstream brand to FCA's performance brand. This will mean the departure of the Avenger and Grand Caravan in 2015. It also means that SRT, Chrysler's performance will be folded into Dodge. What this means for the future of the 300 SRT and Grand Cherokee is unknown at this time, but expect both to drive off into the sunset. The brand has a sales goal of 600,000 vehicles in 2018.
The changes begin this year with the introduction of the refreshed Charger and Challenger. Mid-2015 brings a refresh to the Dodge Viper (not SRT Viper any more). 2016 brings a brings forth a new Dart and a Journey. Towards the end of the year, the long-rumored Dart SRT will become a reality. 2017 brings out a Journey SRT with a turbo V6 and all-wheel drive, along with refreshed Durango. 2018 is a big year as new versions of the Challenger and Charger come out, as well as a new B-Segment sedan and hatchback.
Fiat came bnext and compared to all of the other brands, they didn't have much to talk about. The brand announced by 2018, they plan on selling 100,000 vehicles. 2015 will see the introduction of the 500X, which is the sister car to the Jeep Renegade, and a specialty model. No one is quite sure what that is, but there is some speculation that its the vehicle from the former Mazda/Alfa Romeo partnership.
Alfa Romeo had the most intriguing presentation today. CEO Harold Webster talked about how the brand strayed from its roots of being brand that delivered sexy designs, perfect 50-50 weight-distribution, and a number of other items. To rectify this, Alfa Romeo has started a skunkworks that consists of two senior head from Ferrari and 200 handpicked engineers to get the brand back on track. That number will grow to 600 by the end of 2015. FCA will invest close to $7 billion into the brand.
Alfa Romeo is projecting sales of 400,000 by 2018. A bit ambitious to say in the least when you take into consideration the brand only sold 74,000 vehicles in 2013.
The plan calls for a new midsize sedan in late 2015, followed by a number of vehicles from 2016 to 2018 which include two compact cars, a second mid-sized car, a large car, two utility vehicles, and a specialty vehicle.
Ram's presentation was much like Fiat's, not much. The big story is Ram expanding their commercial vehicle sales in the coming years. The brand plans on enhancing capabilities of their dealers, increasing the amount of the dealers who specialize in commercial vehicles from 332 to 900, more marketing, and leveraging Fiat Professional, FCA's main commercial vehicle division. The commercial division will also get two new vehicles this year; the Promaster Diesel and the Promaster City. As for Ram, minor updates are due in 2015 for the 1500 and 2016 for the heavy duties. An extensive refresh follows two years after the minor changes.
Maserati took the stage next and announced projected sales of 75,000 global sales in 2018. That made everyone raise their eyebrows and wonder how the company would pull this off. Well it begins next year as the Levante crossover arrives with the choice of either 350 or 425 horsepower V6 engines. Following that will be the Alfieri coupe in 2016. The Alferi will be the sole sports car in Maserati's lineup as the GranTurismo will be retired after 2014. The Alferi will be available with a 410 horsepower V6 with rear-wheel drive, or all-wheel drive with the choice of either a 450 or 520 horsepower V6. 2017 brings the Alferi convertible, and the year after is the return of GranTurismo coupe
Other changes include the addition of two new V6 engines for the Ghibli, a new V8 for the Ghibli and Quattroporte, and new diesel engines for the Ghibli, Quattroporte, and Levante.
Ferrari's presentation was very short. It consisted of the brand launching a new model every year. Each model will have a four-year lifecycle after which, "M" versions will be produced. Again, the 'M' versions will have a four-year lifecycle. Ferrari is also sticking with their 7,000 vehicle production limit for the time being.
- Tim Kuniskis, Dodge brand CEO will oversee SRT immediately. Ralph Gilles who was the CEO of SRT will continue as FCA’s senior vice president of product design and CEO of Motorsports.
- The long-rumored Hellcat Supercharged 6.2L HEMI V8? Its real. In a slide during Dodge's presentation, there is a mention of supercharged 6.2L HEMI V8. No mention on when it will come out or how much power its packing.
- Sticking with engines, FCA will be introducing a new range of four-cylinder engines that will share parts and can be inexpensively customized for different markets.
- A Plug-In Hybrid Town & Country is coming in 2016
- CEO Sergio Marchionne said " I have better uses for aluminum than on a pickup truck" when asked about aluminum. Went onto say that they would consider it if Ford is successful with the next F-150
- Marchionne plans to stay as CEO through the duration of the current plan
- Quote of the entire presentation: “This thing is truly a freak show on wheels with almost compact-carlike fuel economy and the ability to tow 9,200 pounds,” said Ram brand chief Reid Bigland about the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel.
Source: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles