FCA has a five year plan, and it doesn’t involve the Chrysler 200 or the Dodge Dart, but it does involve a lot more Jeeps and Rams.
Last year was not a good year for the 200 or Dart. The 200 failed to earn Consumer Reports’ “recommended” rating and the Dart was not reliable. At all. Which is a shame because both cars had lots of potential and a huge investment went into the 200. Oh well. Rest in Peace.
With the 200 and Dart out of the way, FCA will increase production on the Jeep and Ram lines. I appreciate the logic here. With gas prices lower than they have been in a long while, and trucks and SUVs being pretty popular, banking on increased sales is a safe bet.
In addition, a lot of R&D time and effort can be invested into the Jeep and Ram lines improving the products. In fact, Jeep is already looking at adding two more power trains and launching the Wrangler pickup.
And let’s face it. People love their Jeeps. Jeep fills a niche in the American market for off road ready SUVS. Ram has plenty of fans, too. But this is a gamble that needs more than die hard loyalists. To make the change pay off, FCA needs to capture new consumers.
Consumers who are used to infotainment centers and six, seven or eight speed automatic transmissions, and other bells and whistles that Jeep and Rams generally lack. I mean let’s face it; the Ram will have to take sales from the beloved Ford F series, which means FCA better bring their design A game.
Shutting down the fuel efficient models is also risky given oil price instability. A sudden jump in oil prices and the gamble may not pay off. In fact, it could be a disaster.
All of us might say this is terribly risky, don’t do it. We might. Or we could realize that crossovers, trucks and SUVs are more popular than sedans and appreciate FCA trying to cash in. That makes good business sense. Though, Chrysler doesn’t really have crossovers.
But that is another discussion for another time.
The decisions have been made and steps taken to move forward with FCA’s new five year plan.
But what do you think? Too risky or good sense?
My Final Thought:
You have no idea how much self-control is involved in not making Back to the Future references about this story:
At any rate, the DeLoreans are back! Replicas, anyway. According to the article about 300 models are going to be produced. The first models should be available by 2017.
Maybe by then we will have real hover boards too, instead of the misnamed, two-wheeled death traps of fire.
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