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    Rumorpile: Farewell Dodge Caravan?


    William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    June 20, 2013

    The saga of which Chrysler minivan will live on to fight another rages on. This week, a report from The Windsor Star says the next-generation Chrysler minivan will be only be the Town & Country when production starts at the Windsor Assembly Plant in 2015.

    This comes from Haig Stoddard, industry analyst at Wards Auto. Stoddard also says that a new seven-seat crossover with a Chrysler badge will take the place of the Caravan production in 2016.

    This is adding fuel to the fire to rumors that Dodge might be killed off within the next few years by Fiat. With the Caravan saying good-bye and the Challenger moving to SRT, that would only leave Dodge four models: Charger, Dart, Durango, and Journey.

    Source: The Windsor Star, Wards Auto

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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    I'm guessing FIAT's logic is to have a single car brand in the end, consistent with Hyundai or Mercedes, and have RAM be exclusively for trucks.

    That isn't a bad idea, although shuttering an identifiable brand like Dodge does seem like a waste. I thought FIAT initially intended Chrysler to occupy a higher-tier and have Dodge be the everyman brand.

    Edited by Señor Ding Dong
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    Great timing...as I read this article I'm listening to the latest Autoblog podcast and the hosts are debating this very issue--speculating if Dodge will be phased out eventually to be replaced by Fiat....there are points and counter points for each argument. The biggest hole at Dodge currently is a competitive midsize sedan...

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    bad idea. i really do think they can rid dodge and call it fiat. fiat does not have the history or equity in this country, but sergio wants to move fiat's HQ here so why would they keep dodge to compete? It's got to be an Italian penis wins over an american penis thing.

    Fiat = small Chrysler = midsize and larger.

    Ram = trucks

    SRT = expensive sh1t

    Jeep = crossovers that try hard to be like real jeeps.

    the Jeeps and trucks sold here in the US are the only thing that keeps chrysler viable in this setup anymore. No one would give a crap about Fiat here if not for how cute the 500 was.

    It will be sad if they axe dodge but that is what it looks like they are doing.

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    I think Dodge is toast. The Durango is basically a longer Grand Cherokee, they could easily replace it with a Jeep, or a 3 row Chrysler SUV. The Dart could get a new grille and move to Chrysler, and the Charger is already at Chrysler and no one buys the Journey anyway.

    Plus there is potential to expand the Fiat brand, or to bring Alfa Romeo here. I don't really care for Fiats or Alfa's, but Fiat may be thinking there are better profit margins to be had on selling European imports, and the current Dodge cars can be merged into Chrysler and then you don't have competition among Dodge and Chrysler.

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    I think Dodge is toast. The Durango is basically a longer Grand Cherokee, they could easily replace it with a Jeep, or a 3 row Chrysler SUV.

    There has been talk for years of a longer, larger GC--bring back the Wagoneer name possibly....seems like it would make the Durango redundant..

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    The Dart could be the "all new" Chrysler 100, and they would just have to change the front and rear fascias. It is a cheap way to make a new model.

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    Ugh... here we go again with this crap. I told you guys Fiat is not Dodge's friend. Who the hell would rather drive a Fix It Again Tony over a Dodge? Not many people in THIS country.

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    Fiat won't look at it that way. They will see themselves as the owner of Chrysler LLC or whatever that company out of bankruptcy is called, and Fiat will call all the shots. Fiat in their minds doesn't need all these brands that are basically all in one dealership anyway, they'll trim it down and streamline it. Fiat didn't buy Chrysler to keep everything, they bought it to raid it, get Jeep which is a valuable brand, get Ram trucks because pickups = profit in the usa, and most importantly get entry into the US market for their own products.

    I think Fiat's plan is to dump Dodge, align Chrysler against VW and Buick since there is a bit better profit margin there than there will be batting it out on price and volume with Toyota and Hyundai, and rely on truck and SUV sales for profit in the short term, while importing more and more Fiats and Alfas to the USA because car sales in Europe are at a 20 year low. But Fiat can't beat Ford or VW in Europe and they won't beat them here either.

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    Dodge isn't going anywhere, and the Caravan isn't likely going anywhere, either.

    Mr. Stoddard clearly has a second grade reading level or his informant must really like trolling him.

    Chrysler only has three models right now: 300, Town & Country, and the 200.

    Dodge has the Dart, Avenger, Charger, Challenger, Caravan, Durango, and Journey. The Dart just arrived. The Avenger will be replaced with a new model shared with Alfa. The Charger is due for a refresh very soon. The Challenger is staying at Dodge. The Caravan is getting a replacment. The Journey isn't going anywhere and will have a next-generation model coming out. The Durango is currently under review, but there's a good chance we'll see it and the new Wagoneer both.

    With only three models right now and none to be added to my knowledge other than a replacement for the 200 and T&C and a refresh for the 300, I could argue Chrysler is the brand getting the axe here, not Dodge. I could go even further and fortify that claim by bringing up the recently cancelled 100 model.

    Dodge isn't going anywhere and any rumors claiming that are pure bunk, plain and simple.

    Edited by black-knight
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    Agreeing with BK full on this one....

    And they can't replace half of dodge's lineup anyways....

    Fiat will stay on the smaller end, and Alfa could become the next "mini" brand

    Simply put, dodge is macho, Fiat is for "somebody"...

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    So lets take this from the flip side. Fiat wants to move their HQ here to the US. The Socialist Unions are bleeding the company dry, they cannot compete with their ugly poor quality products.

    Could it be that Fiat ends up eventually going away as they move to have a small Mini style of store within a store. Fiat becomes that eco box level for Dodge. Then you have Ram for Trucks, Jeep for Off road SUV's, bring back the wagoneer, kill the Durango and Dodge becomes the Entry level product line world wide for them from the 500 up to the Charger. SRT is the Performance Division and Chrysler is the Mid to higher Lux line.

    I could see Fiat being the one to eventually disappear. Due to size and the heavy discounts Fiat is doing on their ugly little 500, I only see value people, aka pure price driven people buying these auto's.

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    When this rumor really started to hit its stride last week or early this week, I think I calculated Dodge has accounted for approx. 37% of Chrysler's sales so far this year, including Fiat. How the hell could Fiat think they could phase out Dodge and not kill annual volume in the process? There is no way I can see them transitioning your typical Dodge owner over the Fiat or even the Chrysler brand. Maybe they can learn from GM. I do think GM needed to reduce brands but I'm betting they kept far less Saturn and Pontiac drivers in the fold then they anticipated.

    Case in point, prior to the two vehicles the wife and I have now, here is a list of the vehicles we bought or leased since 2005:

    2005 Saab 9-3

    2005 Saab 9-2X Aero

    2007 Saturn Aura XR

    2008 Saturn Vue XR

    2002 Pontiac Bonneville

    2007 Saab 9-5 Aero

    Here is what we currently drive:

    2011 Ford Flex

    2012 Dodge Charger R/T

    The wife is up next for a vehicle and while I could see her getting a Buick Verano Turbo or a Cadillac ATS, that's about it for GM products. I would gladly take a Cadillac CTS-V wagon but I don't think I could convince her to get one. :)

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    Dodge may have volume but how much of that is to fleet sales. Ford and GM dropped minivans, Dodge can lose theirs too, and the plan is for the 2016 van to by Chrysler only because it has a $31k base price, compared to $20k for the Caravan. Fiat is going to look for profit, not volume and sell vehicles with higher margins.

    I think Dodge is done after 2015 model year, they are weak on CAFE, and without the Caravan and Avenger, they have no mid-range products. The Dart will get revised to become a Chrysler 100, Challenger redesigned to the SRT Challenger, joining the SRT Viper. Journey dies, Durango is replaced by a 3 row Jeep SUV, because a Jeep Wagoneer can sell for $10,000 more than a Durango.

    Fiat can't survive with all these brands. Chrysler and Lancia will have overlapping products, similar to Buick-Opel, or the One Ford plan, but same product, different badge. Fiat-Alfa will expand offerings here, and SRT will stay for the Mopar fan boys because they can jack the price up on those. Jeep has always been a solid brand name with a loyal following, nothing to change there. Fiat didn't buy Chrysler for Chrysler/Dodge, they wanted Jeep and entry to the American market.

    When you look at Chrysler-Dodge-Ram-SRT-Jeep in the USA and Fiat-Lancia-Alfa Romeo-Maserati-Ferrari in Europe, that is 10 brands, that is what destroyed GM. Now a few of those brands are low volume and super high profit margin, so they are safe, but and Automaker doesn't need 10 brands.

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    Don't count on Fiat going anywhere.

    Dodge may have volume but how much of that is to fleet sales. Ford and GM dropped minivans, Dodge can lose theirs too, and the plan is for the 2016 van to by Chrysler only because it has a $31k base price, compared to $20k for the Caravan. Fiat is going to look for profit, not volume and sell vehicles with higher margins.

    I think Dodge is done after 2015 model year, they are weak on CAFE, and without the Caravan and Avenger, they have no mid-range products. The Dart will get revised to become a Chrysler 100, Challenger redesigned to the SRT Challenger, joining the SRT Viper. Journey dies, Durango is replaced by a 3 row Jeep SUV, because a Jeep Wagoneer can sell for $10,000 more than a Durango.

    Fiat can't survive with all these brands. Chrysler and Lancia will have overlapping products, similar to Buick-Opel, or the One Ford plan, but same product, different badge. Fiat-Alfa will expand offerings here, and SRT will stay for the Mopar fan boys because they can jack the price up on those. Jeep has always been a solid brand name with a loyal following, nothing to change there. Fiat didn't buy Chrysler for Chrysler/Dodge, they wanted Jeep and entry to the American market.

    When you look at Chrysler-Dodge-Ram-SRT-Jeep in the USA and Fiat-Lancia-Alfa Romeo-Maserati-Ferrari in Europe, that is 10 brands, that is what destroyed GM. Now a few of those brands are low volume and super high profit margin, so they are safe, but and Automaker doesn't need 10 brands.

    Well -- BIG SUPRISE HERE -- you're wrong yet again, but you'll see that soon enough.

    Your post also clearly indicates you have absolutely no idea how CAFE affects automakers.

    Also, there are very little to no circumstances surrounding Chrysler Group's brands and Old GM's brands that can be paralleled.

    You've lost the ball. Please, go home and stay there.

    Edited by black-knight
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    Isn't the FWD-based CUV the new minivan? Might make sense to drop the minivan and replace it with something else...

    Edited by ZL-1
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    I think the MiniVan is a dying product. Toyota, Honda and Hyundia might keep them alive in one form or another, but the CUV has replaced the MiniVan pretty much and I do not see it surviving here in the US unlike how the station wagon survives in Europe.

    Would make an interesting case study as to why the over all space and versitility has lost out to less room and lower gas mileage of the CUV?

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    Posted

    Which one sells more? I thought it was the Caravan....why would you kill the better selling product and hope cutsomers go to the one that doesn't sell as well?

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    Which one sells more? I thought it was the Caravan....why would you kill the better selling product and hope cutsomers go to the one that doesn't sell as well?

    Because the Town and Country has a base price of $31,000 and the Caravan's is $19,995. It is about profit per car, not volume. Chrysler Corp went bankrupt because they made no money, and Fiat bought them because they had Jeep and American dealerships. If Chrysler didn't have Jeep in the stable, they'd be with Saab and Pontiac.

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    Valid point... but then raise the price of the Caravan and make justifiable improvements. There's gotta be some room in there for a mini-van with a base price around $25k. The Oddy seems to start around $28k

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    One thing nobody has clearly answered in the Dodge is dead scenario is what happens to the Charger and Challenger? I have heard speculation that they both go to SRT or that Charger dies and Challenger goes to SRT but does that make sense? Are they going to dilute SRT by selling V6 Chargers and Challengers? I could see maybe selling R/T versions under the SRT name but even that doesn't make sense. If they do that, would be the purpose of having created a separate SRT brand? They may as well have just kept everything Dodge and made SRT a trim level like it used to be.

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      A tuned induction system and dual exhaust from the manifolds back to the tips help deliver more than 90 percent of the engine’s peak torque from 1,800 to 6,400 rpm – all for outstanding drivability and responsiveness. With the standard TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission, Challenger GT offers up to an EPA-estimated 18 city/27 hwy miles per gallon (mpg).
      The Dodge Challenger GT features Dodge’s high-performance all-wheel-drive system. Also found in the Charger AWD, this technologically advanced system includes an active transfer case and front-axle disconnect for excellent all-season performance and fuel economy. The Challenger GT seamlessly transitions between rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive with no driver intervention. Under normal driving conditions, the front axle is disengaged and 100 percent of the engine’s torque is directed to the rear wheels. This preserves the outstanding fun-to-drive performance and handling characteristics inherent to rear-wheel-drive vehicles. When sensors indicate the need for additional traction, the system automatically engages the front axle, instantly transitioning Challenger GT into all-wheel-drive mode.
       
      Enhanced with Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), the Challenger GT AWD has impressive handling on all surfaces, especially snow and ice. VDC provides excellent traction on slippery surfaces and also helps the driver maintain the desired vehicle path. Enhancing the on-road dynamic performance using precise front-to-rear torque control integrated with the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system, VDC maintains Challenger’s fun-to-drive character, regardless of road conditions.
       
      In addition, the new Dodge Challenger GT AWD features paddle shifters and Sport mode. With Sport mode active, gear changes are quicker and revs are held higher for even more performance-oriented acceleration and higher shift dynamics. For even more control, the driver can also use the die-cast steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters and view gear election through the full-color Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) centered in the instrument cluster.
       
      The Challenger GT Super Track Pak button activates Dodge Performance Pages and launch control features embedded in the 8.4-inch touchscreen radio. Visible performance information, such as reaction times, 0-60 times, G-force indicator and lap times, can be monitored, and even mirrored, in the 7-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) customizable cluster display. The new Challenger GT model also features three-mode ESC with “full-off” mode, a fun feature for drifting through snowy scenes.
      All-weather traction all year long, rain, sleet, snow or shine
      For muscle car enthusiasts who want more all-weather traction, the new 2017 Dodge Challenger GT delivers premium amenities inside and out, including 19-inch aluminum wheels with Hyper Black finish and P235/55R19 BSW all-season performance tires, projector fog lamps, a deck-lid rear spoiler, ParkSense rear park assist and ParkView rear backup camera.
       
      Challenger GT is equally well equipped on the inside with standard features, such as premium Nappa leather seating, heated and ventilated front seats with four-way power driver lumbar adjustment, heated steering wheel with power tilt and telescoping column, Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, six Alpine speakers with 276-watt amplifier, bright pedals, universal garage door opener and Hectic Mesh aluminum bezels.
       
      GT Interior Package
      The all-new GT Interior package, which is unique to this Challenger AWD model, includes performance Nappa leather and Alcantara suede seats – available on a V-6 for the first time – nine Alpine speakers, including a subwoofer and a 506-watt amplifier, and the Dodge performance steering wheel. U.S MSRP for the GT Interior package is $995.
      Performance-inspired design, all year round
      1971-inspired design, both inside and out, the Dodge Challenger GT features refined exterior styling and heritage muscle-car appearance with split grille, pronounced and functional power bulge hood, LED halo headlamps and LED tail lamps.
    • By William Maley
      FCA US Reports November 2016 U.S. Sales
      Ram Truck brand sales up 12 percent compared with same month a year ago; Ram pickup truck sales up 8 percent All-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan sales up 13 percent compared with previous month of October Jeep® Renegade sales up 30 percent; all-new 2017 Jeep Compass makes its U.S. debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show December 1, 2016 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - FCA US LLC today reported U.S. sales of 160,827 units, a 14 percent decrease compared with sales in November 2015 (187,731 units).
      FCA US retail sales of 126,780 units were down 2 percent year over year in November, representing 79 percent of total sales for the month. Fleet sales of 34,047 units were down 42 percent year over year in November as FCA US continues to reduce its sales to the daily rental segment. Fleet sales represented 21 percent of total FCA US sales in the month.
       
      Ram Truck brand sales were up 12 percent in November versus the same month in 2015. Ram ProMaster van sales increased 126 percent in November, while Ram pickup truck sales increased 8 percent. The Jeep® Renegade small SUV had a strong November with a 30 percent sales gain, while sales of the Fiat 500 were up 18 percent compared with the same month a year ago.
       
      Sales of the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica – launched earlier this year – were up 13 percent in November compared with sales in the previous month of October. November sales represented the minivan’s second best sales month this year.
       
      Ram Truck brand sales are up 11 percent calendar year to date through November compared with the same 11-month period in 2015. Jeep brand sales are up 8 percent calendar year to date as well.
       
      Ram Truck Brand
      Ram Truck brand sales, which include the Ram pickup, Ram ProMaster and Ram ProMaster City, increased 12 percent in November versus the same month in 2015. With its 126 percent sales gain, the Ram ProMaster van turned in the largest year-over-year percentage increase of any FCA US vehicle in November. Sales of the Ram pickup truck increased 8 percent in November. The Ram 1500 earned Best Buy awards last month from Consumers Digest and Consumer Guide Automotive. Also last month, the Green Car Journal named the Ram ProMaster City its 2017 Commercial Green Car of the Year for the second consecutive year – the first time a vehicle has won one of the magazine’s titles consecutively. Ram Truck brand sales are up 11 percent calendar year to date compared with the same 11 months in 2015.
      Jeep Brand
      Jeep brand sales were down 12 percent compared with the same month a year ago. The Jeep Renegade turned in a strong 30 percent increase in November compared with the same month in 2015. The Renegade earned Best Buy awards last month from Consumers Digest and Consumer Guide Automotive in the subcompact SUV segment. In addition, the Jeep Grand Cherokee earned a Consumers Digest Best Buy for the seventh consecutive year in the mid-size SUV category. Jeep brand sales are up 8 percent calendar year to date compared with the first 11 months of 2015.
       
      The all-new 2017 Jeep Compass made its U.S. debut last month at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The global compact SUV delivers unsurpassed 4x4 capability, world-class on-road driving dynamics, advanced fuel-efficient powertrains and premium styling. The Compass will be manufactured in Brazil, China, Mexico and India, for consumers in more than 100 countries around the world.
       
      FIAT Brand
      FIAT brand sales, which include the Fiat 500, Fiat 500L, Fiat 500X and Fiat 124 Spider, were down 15 percent in November. However, sales of the Fiat 500 were up 18 percent year-over-year in November. In its fifth month in the market, the all-new 124 Spider recorded sales of 350 units. The 124 Spider earned a 2017 Best Buy last month in the sporty performance car segment from the automotive editors at Consumer Guide Automotive, who noted that the 124 Spider “represents an impressive amount of fun for the money.” The 124 Spider also took home the award for Best-Looking New Car from readers of The Car Connection in November.
      Dodge Brand
      Dodge brand sales were down 21 percent in November compared with the same month in 2015. However, Dodge Charger sales increased 34 percent compared with the same month a year ago. Dodge Viper sales were up as well. The Dodge Durango earned a Best Buy last month from Consumer Guide Automotive in the large SUV category – for the fifth consecutive year. In addition, for the third time in three years, the Charger has earned the Residual Value Award in the full-size category from ALG, the industry benchmark for residual values and depreciation data. Also, the Charger and Durango were “most loved” in their respective segments for the third consecutive year making Strategic Vision’s “Most Loved Vehicles in America” list, while the Dodge Challenger earned a spot on the list in the specialty coupe category.
       
      Chrysler Brand
      Chrysler brand sales were down 47 percent in November compared with the same month a year ago. However, the all-new Chrysler Pacifica posted sales of 8,753 units in November, a 13 percent sales gain versus the previous month of October. The 2017 Pacifica minivan – launched in April – earned Best Buy awards from Consumer Guide Automotive, Consumers Digest and Kelley Blue Book last month. In the Consumer Guide Automotive competition, the Pacifica captured both the Minivan and Family Vehicle Best Buy awards. In addition, the Pacifica earned “Best Car to Buy” and “Best Family Vehicle to Buy” designations from The Car Connection. The Chrysler 300 full-size sedan grabbed an award last month as well, earning its fifth Best Buy award in the luxury car segment from Consumers Digest.
      FCA US LLC Sales Summary November 2016
      Reflects New Methodology
                      Month Sales
      Vol %
      CYTD Sales
      Vol %
      Model
      Curr Yr
      Pr Yr
      Change
      Curr Yr
      Pr Yr
      Change
      Compass
      6,984
      9,209
      -24%
      86,107
      64,188
      34%
      Patriot
      8,568
      9,933
      -14%
      114,117
      108,968
      5%
      Wrangler
      12,957
      13,948
      -7%
      176,053
      186,835
      -6%
      Cherokee
      11,479
      18,218
      -37%
      183,356
      196,092
      -6%
      Grand Cherokee
      17,230
      17,662
      -2%
      189,023
      175,746
      8%
      Renegade
      10,067
      7,719
      30%
      94,561
      52,211
      81%
      JEEP BRAND
      67,285
      76,689
      -12%
      843,217
      784,040
      8%
      200
      2,849
      10,103
      -72%
      54,651
      157,705
      -65%
      300
      2,566
      4,635
      -45%
      49,657
      48,756
      2%
      Town & Country
      350
      12,537
      -97%
      58,805
      86,908
      -32%
      Pacifica
      8,753
      0
      New
      52,083
      0
      New
      CHRYSLER BRAND
      14,518
      27,275
      -47%
      215,196
      293,369
      -27%
      Dart
      2,203
      7,201
      -69%
      41,877
      82,041
      -49%
      Avenger
      1
      15
      -93%
      45
      1,294
      -97%
      Charger
      9,138
      6,804
      34%
      88,200
      88,323
      0%
      Challenger
      3,908
      4,297
      -9%
      59,176
      61,813
      -4%
      Viper
      62
      45
      38%
      571
      627
      -9%
      Journey
      7,133
      8,023
      -11%
      96,991
      100,256
      -3%
      Caravan
      6,696
      10,926
      -39%
      120,991
      89,833
      35%
      Durango
      4,934
      5,644
      -13%
      62,678
      56,897
      10%
      DODGE  BRAND
      34,075
      42,955
      -21%
      470,529
      481,084
      -2%
      Ram P/U
      36,885
      34,145
      8%
      441,862
      408,724
      8%
      Cargo Van
      0
      2
      -100%
      21
      2,157
      -99%
      ProMaster Van
      4,702
      2,084
      126%
      35,746
      23,658
      51%
      ProMaster City
      924
      1,721
      -46%
      14,625
      8,015
      82%
      RAM BRAND
      42,511
      37,952
      12%
      492,254
      442,554
      11%
      Giulia
      0
      0
      New
      7
      0
      New
      Alfa 4C 
      23
      34
      -32%
      457
      603
      -24%
      ALFA BRAND
      23
      34
      -32%
      464
      603
      -23%
      500
      1,147
      974
      18%
      14,026
      22,243
      -37%
      500L
      96
      231
      -58%
      3,016
      7,275
      -59%
      500X
      822
      1,621
      -49%
      10,869
      7,785
      40%
      Spider
      350
      0
      New
      2,225
      0
      New
      FIAT BRAND
      2,415
      2,826
      -15%
      30,136
      37,303
      -19%
      TOTAL FCA US LLC
      160,827
      187,731
      -14%
      2,051,796
      2,038,953
      1%
                        Total Car & MPV
      38,142
      57,802
      -34%
      545,787
      647,421
      -16%
          Total UV's
      80,174
      91,977
      -13%
      1,013,755
      948,978
      7%
          Total Truck & LCV
      42,511
      37,952
      12%
      492,254
      442,554
       
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