Chrysler's new roadmap
Some small cars are out; redesigns for 200 sedan in '14, minivans in '15
DETROIT -- Chrysler Group has dropped plans to pack five more small nameplates into its crowded Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep Ram showrooms.
Instead, it's adding nameplates at its Fiat and upcoming Alfa Romeo dealerships.
Chrysler revealed last week, in a revised five-year product plan, that it has canceled plans for Fiat in Europe to assemble two small cars each for Dodge and Chrysler in 2013. Another Chrysler vehicle that was to be built by Fiat last year was also dropped.
The cancellations mean the lineups for the Dodge and Chrysler brands will stay largely unchanged until at least 2015. The brands will seek to maintain their appeal primarily to families seeking roomy sedans, minivans and crossovers.
The new plan, an update of a November 2009 version, roughs out the product landscape through 2016, but details were limited. The plan mentions new vehicles and says when they're coming but doesn't identify the nameplates or their segments. In a conference call, CEO Sergio Marchionne provided only a few specifics.
"The only thing I can tell you is that we continue to rework the portfolio to meet profit demands," Marchionne said during a conference call with analysts and journalists. He made the comment in a discussion of how an extensive overhaul of the Jeep Grand Cherokee for 2014 was more expensive than originally planned.
"The amount of intervention and the size of the intervention on that vehicle is staggering," he said.
Marchionne said the automaker will ensure that each brand has a distinct character to avoid nameplate overlap in showrooms.
Here are the proposed changes for the group's U.S. brands, gleaned from the plan map and recent comments by executives:
Chrysler: The plan scales back expansion of the brand's three-nameplate lineup. The brand now sells the 200 and 300 sedans and the Town & Country minivan.
The plan indicates a fourth Chrysler nameplate will arrive in 2015. Sources suggest it's a compact utility vehicle called the Chrysler 100.
Three Chrysler nameplates that were to be assembled by Fiat in Europe in 2012 and 2013 were dropped from the previous plan. One existing Chrysler nameplate, the 200 sedan, is being redesigned and will arrive in 2014 on a Fiat platform.
Three new or redesigned nameplates are to arrive in 2015, including a Town & Country that may or may not have sliding doors, Marchionne said. The Chrysler 300 sedan will be refreshed in 2014.
Jeep: Chrysler executives are expanding the lineup, although details are limited. A small Jeep to be assembled by Fiat in Italy has been delayed one year until 2014, the plan says.
Two new or redesigned nameplates will be introduced in 2015. Other sources suggest they will be a seven-passenger Grand Wagoneer and a single successor to the Compass and Patriot.
In 2016, the plan and sources indicate Jeep will refresh the Wrangler and introduce two new or redesigned nameplates. Jeep brand head Mike Manley has said a long-sought Wrangler-based pickup could accompany the next redesign of the 4x4.
Ram: Ram's commercial van lineup will fill out next year. Its answer to the Ford Transit Connect -- a rebadged Fiat Doblo small commercial van to be called the Ram ProMaster City -- has been delayed until 2014.
Two new or redesigned Rams now are scheduled to appear in 2016. Sources say one could be a small unibody vehicle with a pickup cargo bed.
Dodge: Dodge's lineup will stay unchanged until 2015. Two Fiat-produced nameplates that were due in 2013 have been dropped. Three existing nameplates in the brand will receive previously unscheduled refreshes, one this year and two in 2014. The Dodge Grand Caravan will get a new platform in 2015, and the brand will add or redesign a yet-to-be identified nameplate in 2016.
SRT: The Viper, released last year, will be refreshed in 2015. But Chrysler Group's performance brand won't get another new vehicle exclusive to it until 2016. Three SRT nameplates sold under other primary brands will be refreshed in 2014.
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