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FCA betting everything on trucks and SUVs

FCA betting everything on trucks and SUVs

Apparently, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles are betting everything on trucks and SUVs. According to their business report published Wednesday 27th January 2016, FCA is considering outsourcing car production and focusing almost entirely on trucks and SUVs.

The main driver for this seems to be low gas prices and a perception of increased demand from buyers for big vehicles. While other automakers are going the other way and shifting towards more efficient cars, FCA are flying in the face of that. Ecological issues aside, the company seems to be betting the farm on something they have no control over. Good move or not?

Oil change
To make way for this new direction, FCA will allegedly shelve the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart. We originally thought Dart manufacturing was being moved to Mexico, but now it seems it is being put on hold altogether or will be completely outsourced.

The move will free up production space at both Sterling Heights, MI, and Belvidere, IL in the U.S. to make more trucks and SUVs. Also moving is the Cherokee, from Toledo OH, so more Jeep Wranglers can be made there. We expect Sterling Heights to make more Ram 1500 trucks and Belvidere to take on more Jeeps.

Other plans
In this business report from earlier, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said he was confident of a permanent shift towards SUVs and pickups. But that doesn’t necessarily mean back to the bad old days of big engines, poor gas mileage and huge emissions. FCA are developing hybrid engines and a diesel powerplant for the Wrangler.
FCA also said they would not be building any more manufacturing plants or expanding their lines anytime soon. They plan to use their existing estate and headcount to make these changes.

To add fuel to that outsourcing rumour fire, Marchionne also said he wanted to ‘solidify partnering opportunities’ to keep smaller car models on the market. The automaker has already got a deal in place with Mazda to build the new Fiat 124 Spider and is likely to want another to work with them on other sedans. Whether that will mean more models or a reimagining of the 200 or Dart remains to be seen.

The other casualty of all this is the arrival of Alfa Romeo as a brand in North America. While all this realigning is going on, the arrival of models to sit alongside the Guilia later this year have been delayed. There are plans to add another three sedans, an SUV, a hatch and two speciality vehicles to the stable. This won’t now happen for a couple of years.

If you’re in the market for a Dodge Dart or a Chrysler 200, you have better move fast. They aren’t going to be around long! Visit Parkway Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Mississauga, 2260 Battleford Road, Mississauga, ON, L5N 3K6 for a test drive.

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