Update 11/5/09: Fiat and Chrysler have officially announced lineups for the future which directly counter the claims made in the Wall Street Journal story mentioned in the below post. Click on the following links for the formal lineups.
The Wall Street Journal reported today Fiat’s future plan for Chrysler, a full week before the company is to meet in a closed-door session with analysts and media to reveal its intentions.
The article is striking in its detail and scope of Fiat’s restructuring. Nearly the entire Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep lineups will be replaced in five years by not only Fiat technology and products but also the return of Alfa Romeo as a luxury marquee slated above Chrysler.
We break down the product shifts below.
Dead Cars in Red
- PT Cruiser
- Town and Country
- 300: Redesign in 2011
- Fiat 500: 2011
- Grand Caravan
- Charger: Redesign in 2011
- Ram trucks
- Grand Cherokee: Redesign in 2010
- Milano (replacing 147)
- Unnamed Mid-Size Sedan
The Fiat 500 will be made in Mexico while the three Alfa cars will be built somewhere in North America. Chrysler has plants in Canada, Mexico and the U.S.
The return of Alfa sounds like a tough sell to those who remember the brand. However, today’s Audi and Infiniti buyers likely have no prior experience with Fiat and might welcome an Italian luxury product and its Ferrari familial ties. Plus, the Alfa designs of late have been nothing short of stunning.
Below are some current Alfa Romeo products that may make it to U.S. showrooms.
Chrysler as a brand is so weak that Alfa could easily supplant it to sit alongside Dodge and Jeep in U.S. dealerships. With a Chrysler lineup that has just two nameplates worth keeping, it might be the right time for such a bold move.
We’ll wait until we hear the plan firsthand next week to make an informed opinion, however, this report shows hope for the brand. Chrysler officials just have to pray the automaker can survive another two years before the new Fiat products go on sale.
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