“The history of the auto industry is littered with alliances that have failed,” CEO Sergio Marchionne told analysts to kick off a day-long presentation. But Fiat and Chrysler in the last five years have achieved “the strongest bond possible. It is made up, as a team, by survivors. They carry the humility of having failed” in the past.
Here’s a brand-by-brand outline, as spelled out by division chiefs today at Chrysler’s headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich.:
Chrysler, which currently offers just three nameplates, will gain a new compact sedan -- the 100 -- in 2016, a full-sized crossover in 2017 and a mid-sized crossover in 2018.
The Chrysler Town & Country will survive as Fiat Chrysler's only minivan when it is redesigned in 2016, a year later than previously planned. At that time, the Dodge Grand Caravan minivan will be discontinued. Fiat Chrysler will expand its electrification efforts to include a new plug-in hybrid version of the Town & Country and a plug-in full-sized crossover in 2017. Chrysler plans to grow from its 2013 level of 350,000 sales to 800,000 units in 2018.
The Dodge brand isn’t projected to get back to its 2013 volume of 596,300 units until 2018, when it will restore its product offerings after losing the Grand Caravan as well as the Avenger mid-sized sedan.
Dodge will do a significant product intervention into the slow-selling Dart in 2016, when it will add a high-performance SRT version. The same year, it will re-engineer the Dodge Journey onto a new global platform and add a new high-performance SRT version of the Journey as well.
Dodge will expand its offerings in early 2018 with the addition of a subcompact sedan and hatchback, and will keep the Durango during the period. The Charger and Challenger will be re-engineered in 2018. Also, the SRT Viper will continue with a planned refresh in 2015.
Dodge expects to its sales volumes will shrink from 2013’s 596,300 to 546,000 in 2014 before climbing back to about 600,000 in 2018.
Jeep will add a Grand Wagoneer three-row SUV in 2018, and will re-engineer the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee in 2017. The subcompact Jeep Renegade will be built in Europe and will arrive in U.S. showrooms in early 2015, and the brand will replace the Compass and Patriot with a single model in 2016 to mark the brand’s 75th anniversary.
Under Jeep’s plan to re-engineer its iconic Wrangler in 2017, weight will be cut, aerodynamics and powertrain efficiency will be improved, and off-road prowess will be maintained. Jeep plans to grow from 732,000 sales globally in 2014 to 1.9 million in 2018.
The Ram brand will add a new ProMaster City small commercial van, based on the Fiat Doblo, in early 2015.
Ram will overhaul its light- and heavy-duty pickup lines in 2017, a year later than expected. Ram expects to increase its North American sales volume from 463,000 last year to about 620,000 in 2018.