• Sign in to follow this  
    Followers 0

    Afterthoughts: The Possible Suitors For An FCA Vehicle Partner


    • Navigating the murky depths of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' Possibility of Partner to Build the 200 and Dart

    A couple of weeks ago, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne made headlines when he announced that the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart would run their course - i.e. no second generation. Instead, the company would focus on building utility vehicles. This threw everyone in the automotive press into a frenzy with equal groups calling Marchionne a genius or a lunatic. But Marchionne also mentioned that the 200 and Dart could continue on if a partner could be found and build vehicles under a contract, a.k.a. badge engineering.

     

    This move presents a lot of risk for FCA. Badge engineered vehicles have never been a true success for anyone. There is also an added risk of trying to find the right partner to build these new vehicles.

     

    I have decided to figure out a possible list of suitors that FCA could go for. Some of these suitors have a history with the brand while others don’t have any history at all.

     

    Mitsubishi - Chances of happening: 1 to 10%
    The Japanese automaker has a long history with Chrysler. During the late 70’s to mid-nineties, Chrysler imported a number of Mitsubishi vehicles to rebadge and sell (Colt, Colt Vista, Conquest, and Sapporo to name a few). Then there was Diamond Star Motors - a joint venture between the two of developing and building a group of coupes - Eagle Talon, Mitsubishi Eclipse, and Plymouth Laser. Even now, Mitsubishi allows Chrysler to sell a rebadged version of the Mirage G4 sedan - the Dodge Attitude in Mexico.

     

    But Mitsubishi doesn’t have a midsize sedan. A few years back, the company announced a joint partnership with Nissan/Renault to develop a new midsize sedan. However the partnership was dissolved and Mitsubishi was back to square one. Then there is the case of the Lancer compact sedan. While most automakers have introduced new or refreshed versions, the Lancer has stayed the same. More concerning is Mitsubishi not having a real plan for the next one or a timeframe.

     

    To put it bluntly, Mitsubishi is currently marooned at sea with no sign of help coming for their car lineup.

     

    2017 ELANTRA SEDAN


    Hyundai - Chances of happening: 0 to 3.5%
    Hyundai is currently on a roll in many markets with an impressive lineup. But that wasn’t always the case. For example, the Korean automaker partnered with Chrysler to sell a rebadged version of the Hyundai Accent in Mexico, the Dodge Altitude in the oughts. This was because Hyundai wasn’t in the Mexican market untill last year. Going with Hyundai gives FCA access to a well-rounded if a bit boring looking midsize sedan (Sonata) and recently redesigned compact (Elantra).

     

    But Hyundai is very constrained on production. All of Hyundai’s factories are working overtime on getting vehicles onto dealer lots. Hyundai is also beginning to change some of their production capacity to focus on building crossovers to meet the growing demand for utility vehicles. The possibility of FCA getting any vehicles are very slim.

     

    Mazda Chrysler 200


    Mazda - Chances of happening: 10 to 35%
    The most recent partnership FCA has developed is with Mazda. A few years back, the two announced a deal where the next-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata would form the basis for a new Alfa Romeo Spyder. But Alfa Romeo decided to go their own way and the Miata deal fell into Fiat’s lap. The end result was the 124 Spider which debuted at the LA Auto Show. Extending the partnership would be beneficial for Mazda. The Japanese automaker would have more vehicles on the ground, albeit with different badges.

     

    But this partnership could bring some problems. If Mazda was to give the 3 and 6 to FCA, they would be essentially competing with itself. Also, would FCA want to make any changes to the 3 and 6? They already did this with the 124 Spider and there are concerns about reliability due to the changes made.

     

    Volkswagen Dodge Jetta


    Volkswagen - Chances of happening: 0 to 2%
    I’ll admit this is quite the long shot. The two automakers have been bickering at each other for a few years when it comes to Alfa Romeo. (To be honest, I would like to see what Volkswagen could do with Alfa Romeo. They could actually get models out on time. But I digress. -WM) So why would Volkswagen want to enter a partnership with FCA? Well, they could use the money considering the amount of trouble they are in with diesel emissions. Also, the two did have a relationship with producing a version of the Chrysler Town & Country/Dodge Caravan for the German automaker - the Volkswagen Routan.

     

    But Volkswagen is currently dealing with the fallout of the diesel emission scandal and doing a partnership with an another automaker isn’t at the top of their priority list. Also, would you really want to drive a Chrysler Passat? How about a Dodge Jetta?

     

    Peugeot Chrysler 200


    PSA Peugeot Citroen: Chances of happening: 0 to 2%
    This idea was put out there by Richard Truett of Automotive News. His argument for going with the French automakers is this: ‘The replacements must not be available here from any other manufacturer.’ This makes sense as it would solve one of the biggest problems with going with automaker already in the U.S. - Competing with itself. It would also give the PSA Peugeot Citroen a barometer of whether or not it should make a return to the market. There have been rumors here and there about the French automaker considering a return.

     

    But there are a number of problems with this solution. If a deal was reached, getting the vehicles into the U.S. Market would take a fair amount of time and money - getting it certified, making changes, performing emission and crash tests. Also, PSA Peugeot Citroen is still in a recovery process after being very close to bankruptcy two years back. They announced a profit in the first half of 2015 and sales are starting to climb back. Considering something like this would be considered too risky for French automaker.

     

    Chinese Automaker: Chances of happening: 1 to 10%
    The last possibility for a possible partnership is going with one of the Chinese automakers. A number have expressed interest in selling vehicles in the U.S., and a few have come to the various auto shows to gauge interest. But no one has made the full commitment. If FCA was to somehow to make a partnership with a Chinese automaker, it could give them an idea of how their models could fare.

     

    But there is a glaring issue with this - aside from the concerns about safety and quality. There is already a sentiment of people who don’t like the idea of automakers of importing vehicles built in China - the Volvo S60 Inscription and soon the Buick Envision. If FCA was to import Chinese vehicles wearing Chrysler and Dodge badges, this could end up a disaster in the court of public opinion.

     

    So there is the list of possible contenders that FCA could partner with. We’ll have to sit and wait to see if FCA makes any decision on a possible partnership. But one thing is clear, there is a small group of automakers that would even entertain this.

    0


      Report Article
    Sign in to follow this  
    Followers 0


    User Feedback


    While these all make sense in their own way. I honestly doubt any of this will happen. I think FCA is worse off then anyone realizes and that the next couple years are going to prove this with the forced shutdown of models and even a brand.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    While these all make sense in their own way. I honestly doubt any of this will happen. I think FCA is worse off then anyone realizes and that the next couple years are going to prove this with the forces shutdown of models and even a brand.

     

     

    This. No one is dumb enough to partner with them at this point. When you drop two nearly new models, that throws a huge red flag. Neither model was that bad off where tweaks could have helped it. This is giving up on your product.....

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Count me in as one of those folks that is fearing the worst for FCA.

     

    I was excited for FCA when they announced the Giulia and what are its expectations a year ago.

     

    Since then though, all that is stuck in my head is this:

     

    1. Viper being shut down because platform does not conform to new safety regs...

    "new" generation Viper is only a couple of years old and already dated...not a good sign of things to come...even though Sergio says that a Viper could exist in the near future....

    How is that possible when...

     

    2. FCA announces that the Giulia is postponed due to the fact that it does not pass certain safety regs...

    Vapor ware Giulia is truly Vapor ware...and 300/Charger/Challenger replacement I guess is postponed as well and its long overdo....and this only becomes even more long overdo.

     

    3. New sedans in key segments that could make money for FCA that came right after FCA was formed are now killed off...so future entry to these key segments WILL mean MORE BILLIONS needed in the future...billions that FCA does not have now, nor will it ever have...

     

    4.  FCA is counting on 1 brand...JEEP...to  raise cash for the entire kit and caboodle...1 brand...and that brand also needs billions in R&D to stave off massive competition from relatively the whole automobile universe as the whole bloody industry is focusing on CUVs and SUVs...

     

    I fear for FCA...

    I dont care really...

     

    For Chrysler and Dodge I will weep massive tears.

    JEEP WILL survive...they could survive on their own actually.

    I may shed a tear and a half for Alfa Romeo...but that is it...

    1

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites


    Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

    Guest
    You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
    Add a comment...

    ×   You have pasted content with formatting.   Remove formatting

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    Loading...



  • Popular Stories

  • Today's Birthdays

    1. Raybob9289
      Raybob9289
      (50 years old)
    2. Z06C6Vette
      Z06C6Vette
      (28 years old)
  • Similar Content

    • By William Maley
      Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced yesterday that it would be recalling 1,908,911 vehicles worldwide due to the airbags and seatbelt pre-tensioners possibly not deploying in the event of a crash. Approximately 1.4 million vehicles involved in the recall are in the U.S.
      In a statement released by FCA, the issue deals with a specific restraint control module and front impact sensor wiring.
      "The condition may occur when vehicles equipped with a particular occupant restraint control module and front impact sensor wiring of a specific design, are involved in certain collisions. If all these factors are present, there may be an increased potential for occupant injury.”
      The vehicles involved include,
      2010 Chrysler Sebring midsize car 2011-2014 Chrysler 200 midsize cars 2010-2012 Dodge Caliber compact car 2010-2014 Dodge Avenger midsize cars 2010-2014 Jeep® Patriot and Compass SUVs FCA says it is aware of three fatalities and five injuries possibly linked to this issue. The company has also said that it stopped using the affected parts and wire routing in newer vehicles.
      Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is currently working on a notification schedule to alert owners about the problem. If you have questions, you are asked to call FCA US Customer Care Center at 1-800-853-1403.
      FCA's recall comes a week after General Motors announced a similar recall for 4.3 million vehicles because of a software bug.
      Source: Reuters, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
      Press Release is on Page 2


      Statement: Occupant Restraint Controller
      September 15, 2016 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - FCA US LLC is voluntarily recalling an estimated 1.4 million vehicles in the U.S. to resolve a condition that may prevent air-bag and seat-belt pretensioner deployment capability in certain crashes.
      The condition may occur when vehicles equipped with a particular occupant restraint control module and front impact sensor wiring of a specific design, are involved in certain collisions.
      If all these factors are present, there may be an increased potential for occupant injury.
      This action was prompted by an FCA US analysis of certain field events and other vehicle data. The Company is aware of three fatalities and five injuries that may potentially be related to this condition.
      FCA US no longer uses the occupant restraint controllers or wire routing design found in the affected vehicles, which are:
      2010 Chrysler Sebring midsize car
      2011-2014 Chrysler 200 midsize cars
      2010-2012 Dodge Caliber compact car
      2010-2014 Dodge Avenger midsize cars
      2010-2014 Jeep® Patriot and Compass SUVs
      An additional 142,959 of these vehicles are subject to recall in Canada; 81,901 in Mexico, a population that includes the 2010 Chrysler Cirrus compact car; and 284,051 outside North America, which also includes the 2012-2013 Lancia Flavia midsize car.
      FCA US will advise affected customers when they may schedule service, which will be performed free of charge. Customers with questions may call the FCA US Customer Care Center at (800) 853-1403.

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced yesterday that it would be recalling 1,908,911 vehicles worldwide due to the airbags and seatbelt pre-tensioners possibly not deploying in the event of a crash. Approximately 1.4 million vehicles involved in the recall are in the U.S.
      In a statement released by FCA, the issue deals with a specific restraint control module and front impact sensor wiring.
      "The condition may occur when vehicles equipped with a particular occupant restraint control module and front impact sensor wiring of a specific design, are involved in certain collisions. If all these factors are present, there may be an increased potential for occupant injury.”
      The vehicles involved include,
      2010 Chrysler Sebring midsize car 2011-2014 Chrysler 200 midsize cars 2010-2012 Dodge Caliber compact car 2010-2014 Dodge Avenger midsize cars 2010-2014 Jeep® Patriot and Compass SUVs FCA says it is aware of three fatalities and five injuries possibly linked to this issue. The company has also said that it stopped using the affected parts and wire routing in newer vehicles.
      Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is currently working on a notification schedule to alert owners about the problem. If you have questions, you are asked to call FCA US Customer Care Center at 1-800-853-1403.
      FCA's recall comes a week after General Motors announced a similar recall for 4.3 million vehicles because of a software bug.
      Source: Reuters, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
      Press Release is on Page 2


      Statement: Occupant Restraint Controller
      September 15, 2016 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - FCA US LLC is voluntarily recalling an estimated 1.4 million vehicles in the U.S. to resolve a condition that may prevent air-bag and seat-belt pretensioner deployment capability in certain crashes.
      The condition may occur when vehicles equipped with a particular occupant restraint control module and front impact sensor wiring of a specific design, are involved in certain collisions.
      If all these factors are present, there may be an increased potential for occupant injury.
      This action was prompted by an FCA US analysis of certain field events and other vehicle data. The Company is aware of three fatalities and five injuries that may potentially be related to this condition.
      FCA US no longer uses the occupant restraint controllers or wire routing design found in the affected vehicles, which are:
      2010 Chrysler Sebring midsize car
      2011-2014 Chrysler 200 midsize cars
      2010-2012 Dodge Caliber compact car
      2010-2014 Dodge Avenger midsize cars
      2010-2014 Jeep® Patriot and Compass SUVs
      An additional 142,959 of these vehicles are subject to recall in Canada; 81,901 in Mexico, a population that includes the 2010 Chrysler Cirrus compact car; and 284,051 outside North America, which also includes the 2012-2013 Lancia Flavia midsize car.
      FCA US will advise affected customers when they may schedule service, which will be performed free of charge. Customers with questions may call the FCA US Customer Care Center at (800) 853-1403.
    • By William Maley
      If you think the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' sales probe couldn't take an unexpected turn, then you would be wrong. The Wall Street Journal reports that federal investigators are asking questions about a phrase that was used by various executives to dealers and regional sales managers.
      According to sources, executives at FCA would use the phrase “unnatural acts department” during conference calls and one-on-one conversations. This phrase was to convey to dealers and regional sales managers to get more sales before the end of the month. Such solutions included selling vehicles at a loss or asking dealers to buy a number of vehicles that would be used for test-drives with customers. Investigators are trying to figure out if the phrase was used a way to rally the troops to meet sales targets or a key piece of evidence of whether or not FCA executives deceived the public by using this phrase to tell dealers to falsify sales numbers.
      As we reported back in July, FCA is currently under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission over their sales reporting practices. The investigation stems from dealers in Florida and Illinois suing the company for falsifying sales numbers. In the same month, FCA admitted the sales streak that supposedly lasted for 75 months only lasted for 40 months. The company also changed how it reported sales numbers.
      Source: The Wall Street Journal

      View full article
  • Recent Status Updates

  • Who's Online (See full list)