06 June 2018
The Fiat Chrysler union is a strange one. It's been a merging of disparate parts that has gone better than it could have. It was never going to be all plain sailing. So where to from here? We have been told and this is the guts of it.
Fiat will just make small 500s and Panda models, which will be electrically motivated, essentially competing with smart which is going the same route. The Punto and Tipo won't be replaced.
Maserati and Alfa Romeo will continue, the latter especially with SUVs. They will become the backbone of European operations and further afield. Lancia is already moribund and will presumably soon be put out of its misery.
In North America:
Jeep and Ram will be the main North American brands. Jeep will get an expanded model roll out while Ram will continue as is, while aiming at the upper price range of the truck market. Chrysler will simply continue as the people mover brand. Dodge has a future as a performance marque, but marginalised in the FCA presentation.
The focus was on four brands, Jeep, Ram, Maserati and Alfa Romeo. They account for 80% of the earnings. They were called the international quartet but I don't see Ram as being that, but it is worth nurturing due to its profitability. Fiat was the big loser although electric does have a future one would think. For now it doesn't generate the profit it should and pays the price for that.
Times change and business is no place for sentimentality. If something is commercially successful, that's what you focus on. If something doesn't pull its weight, then the hard decision has to be taken.