FCA's product lineup in the U.S. is aging. The launch of the redesigned Ram 1500 earlier this year went badly, costing the company $700 million to fix, and full production won't be underway until the fourth quarter, Manley said. To augment the pickup launch, FCA has continued building the old version, now called the Ram 1500 Classic. But keeping the old model around in the Warren Truck Assembly plant, especially at high volumes, could delay the Jeep Grand Wagoneer, which is supposed to be built there next year.
Meanwhile, the Dodge Journey, Charger and Challenger and the Chrysler 300 all date back to the DaimlerChrysler era. The ancient Dodge Grand Caravan, resurrected in 2017, continues to outsell the more expensive and newer Chrysler Pacifica minivan in the U.S.
In Balocco, Marchionne detailed a plan to electrify the Fiat brand's offerings in Europe but said little about the troubled brand's future in the U.S. Fiat dealers have suffered as small-car sales have stagnated, while the Chrysler brand has been whittled down to just two vehicles — the Pacifica and 300 — and Dodge is mostly a collection of old platform holdovers. As head of Jeep, Manley has always been a champion of short product life cycles, but with three of his brands in weak positions, he will have decisions to make on whether to reinvest or let them wither away.