"Even though the passenger-car segment is under a lot of pressure, the key to be successful — and our dealers realize this — is to have differentiated offerings," Bigland said after FCA's make meeting at the NADA Show.
"If you just have a 'me-too' type product, you're going to get your head kicked in.
"When you look at Charger, Challenger, the interventions that we've made to keep these vehicles relevant in the marketplace — the horsepower, the niche of the American muscle car — it's really resonated," Bigland said.
Dealer Ken Thomas said he has some concerns about where the Chrysler brand is going, but he's confident in the direction of Jeep and Ram. Thomas, operating partner at Northland Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram in suburban Detroit, walked away from the meeting encouraged after learning of a floorplan assistance program that dealers have been asking for.
Looking ahead, Thomas said he is unsure of what to expect from FCA's pending merger with PSA Group.
There are still "questions about this merger that is going to come through," he said after the meeting.
"Obviously, our main question is, how does it impact us? At this point, it's still a year away. It's probably a couple years down the road before we'll see any kind of real impact. I don't know how it impacts product."