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Old 07-01-2013, 11:04 AM   #1
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Fiat Could Kill off Dodge by 2016: Report

http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2...16-report.html

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The year 2016 appears a pivotal one for Fiat-Chrysler in North America.

Although the decisions will be made before then, 2016 will be the apex of several product upgrades and plant sourcing moves that started in late 2010, one year after Fiat took part ownership in Chrysler, and continues to ramp-up to what will be a flourish of changes in 2016, based on information in the WardsAuto/AutomotiveCompass Global Production Forecast.

However, there are some open-ended questions regarding the Fiat-Chrysler landscape still to be answered pertaining to its manufacturing footprint and long-term brand strategy, especially the future of Dodge.

Not counting the sales-invigorating mid-cycle enhancements, such as those made three years ago to the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger and last year's upgrades to the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram pickups, about 16% of Chrysler’s annual production volume has been renewed either through redesigns or new products since late 2010 when the auto maker started production of the Fiat 500 at Chrysler's Toluca, Mexico, plant.

Beginning with production of the new Cherokee this month at Toledo North, an additional 60% of its volume will be renewed by the end of 2016, with most of it coming in that year.

A couple more redesigns of existing products coming in 2017 will largely complete the engineering overhaul that started when Fiat first took an equity stake in Chrysler in 2009.

However, by the end of 2016, more than three-fourths of the production volume for Fiat-Chrysler’s cars and cross/utility vehicles will be based off the Fiat-engineered C/D-Evo, or CUSW, platform.

The CUSW platform underpins the current Dodge Dart built in the Belvidere, IL, plant, and the new Chrysler 100 coming to the plant in 2016. The next-generation Chrysler 200 and Dodge Journey/Fiat Freemont replacement, both to be built in Sterling Heights, MI, plus the Cherokee, all will come off that platform.

Also expected in 2016 are a redesigned Jeep Wrangler and a new Large Luxury Chrysler cross/utility vehicle, which starts production in Windsor, ON, Canada, one year after a redesigned Town & Country minivan rolls off the line.

Based on the Wards/AC outlook, Ram pickups are expected to begin a phase-in of newly engineered versions in 2016.

Aside from that detail, there are some open-ended questions. Most intriguing is the future of Dodge.

The brand will have no bread-and-butter midsize sedan after the Avenger ends production early next year, leaving a gaping hole in its portfolio, which already was severely trimmed by the decision to move the manufacturer’s pickups from Dodge to the recently created Ram brand.

Furthermore, industry sources tell Wards/AC that there will be more thinning of the Dodge ranks with at least two products already pegged to either migrate to the Chrysler brand or be discontinued.

Another unanswered question is what the auto maker plans to build at its Toluca plant once North American sourcing for the 500 switches to a Fiat plant in Poland in 2015, and the Journey replacement shifts to Sterling Heights.

Closing the plant is not likely. Fiat-Chrysler needs the capacity and it is still relatively inexpensive to assemble vehicles in Mexico. Mexico also is a good jumping board for exports to South America.

Putting the pieces together, a likely candidate for Toluca is a Fiat-based Jeep product, probably off the CUSW platform, slotted in the market between the new Jeep B-size CUV expected to be coming from Italy in 2015, and the C/D-size Cherokee.

Such a vehicle could be considered as a replacement for the Jeep Compass and Patriot, two very similar CUVs built off the same platform in Belvidere. Coincidently, the production run of the Compass/Patriot, initially slated to be terminated from the lineup next year, has been extended to 2015, the same year the 500 ends at Toluca. Also, the Compass is exported to South America, and it is feasible a Mexico-built Jeep could replace it there.

Whatever is going on behind the scenes at Fiat-Chrysler, including the possibility of further culling, or even getting rid of the Dodge brand, expect the string of news-making announcements that began when Fiat took a stake in Chrysler four years ago to continue. But 2016 looks like the year all the pieces will more-or-less be in place.
Looks like Dodge could be gone in 4-5 years. Kind of a shame because the Dart and the Challenger are good cars. The Ram speaks for itself. Too bad the rest of the lineup isn't too hot.
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Old 07-01-2013, 11:11 AM   #2
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I predicted that was their plan when they decided to remove the Dodge name from their own pickups.
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Old 07-01-2013, 11:40 AM   #3
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That is just your regular gloom and doom article, it will not happen. Rumor has it Dodge is getting ready to become a more performance oriented brand, it also has it that the Avneger replacement due around 16 or 17, will be a RWN midsizer based on the new platform being built to underpin the Barracuda and Alfas.
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:51 PM   #4
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I predicted that was their plan when they decided to remove the Dodge name from their own pickups.
This^^
There hasn't been a Dodge pickup since Fiat took over.
The NASCAR Dodge Charger has already disappeared.
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:55 PM   #5
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That is just your regular gloom and doom article, it will not happen. Rumor has it Dodge is getting ready to become a more performance oriented brand, it also has it that the Avneger replacement due around 16 or 17, will be a RWN midsizer based on the new platform being built to underpin the Barracuda and Alfas.
Uh, just saying, that was also the supposed plan for Pontiac. Which was repeated by a few GM executives who had full knowledge that the brand had already been on the chopping block years before.
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:01 PM   #6
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Uh, just saying, that was also the supposed plan for Pontiac. Which was repeated by a few GM executives who had full knowledge that the brand had already been on the chopping block years before.
The only thing here is that this plan was already in motion before Fiat was even in the picture. The idea was to give each brand it's own identity. Dodge is their highest selling brand, total opposite of Lame Duck Pontiac. Killing it wouldn't make any sense, but giving it an actually identity and a making what it offers compared to Chrysler different makes total sense. Besides, the article is based on hearsay and conjecture and can't really be taken any more seriously than anyone else's opinion (including mine) on what is coming.
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Old 07-01-2013, 04:58 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Stew View Post
That is just your regular gloom and doom article, it will not happen. Rumor has it Dodge is getting ready to become a more performance oriented brand, it also has it that the Avneger replacement due around 16 or 17, will be a RWN midsizer based on the new platform being built to underpin the Barracuda and Alfas.
All of Dodge's performance vehicles is making the move over to Chrysler's new SRT brand. The Viper has already been moved, the Challenger is being discontinued and being replaced by the SRT Barracuda and SRT Hemicuda and I can see the Charger being moved eventually as well.
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Old 07-01-2013, 05:36 PM   #8
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The only thing here is that this plan was already in motion before Fiat was even in the picture. The idea was to give each brand it's own identity. Dodge is their highest selling brand, total opposite of Lame Duck Pontiac. Killing it wouldn't make any sense, but giving it an actually identity and a making what it offers compared to Chrysler different makes total sense. Besides, the article is based on hearsay and conjecture and can't really be taken any more seriously than anyone else's opinion (including mine) on what is coming.
To be fair, at the time Pontiac had a pretty high sales volume as well. Albeit a large chunk was to fleet.

While I question the validity of these reports as well, it's not too far-fetched to think about.
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Old 07-01-2013, 06:12 PM   #9
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To be fair, at the time Pontiac had a pretty high sales volume as well. Albeit a large chunk was to fleet.

While I question the validity of these reports as well, it's not too far-fetched to think about.
pontiac did not approach Chevrolet on sales volume though, in this case Dodge only has the highest sales volume, it is outselling the next highest brand brand by roughly 2 to 1 and IS the highest volume seller in the portfolio. That is like selling they should kill CHevy and leave Buick has the primary automaker.
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Old 07-02-2013, 01:33 PM   #10
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pontiac did not approach Chevrolet on sales volume though, in this case Dodge only has the highest sales volume, it is outselling the next highest brand brand by roughly 2 to 1 and IS the highest volume seller in the portfolio. That is like selling they should kill CHevy and leave Buick has the primary automaker.
Is dodge out selling them or is RAM out selling? If it is ram I see no reason to keep the dodge brand. SRT will end up with the challenger and the charger, that way the performance vehicles still exist.
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Old 07-02-2013, 01:40 PM   #11
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Is dodge out selling them or is RAM out selling? If it is ram I see no reason to keep the dodge brand. SRT will end up with the challenger and the charger, that way the performance vehicles still exist.
No, Dodge is outselling the next highest seller under the Chrysler umbrella 2 to 1, so no, not including Ram. It would be like Ford killing the Ford brand or GM killing Chevrolet.
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Old 07-02-2013, 02:54 PM   #12
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Wait and see...
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Old 07-02-2013, 03:31 PM   #13
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pontiac did not approach Chevrolet on sales volume though, in this case Dodge only has the highest sales volume, it is outselling the next highest brand brand by roughly 2 to 1 and IS the highest volume seller in the portfolio. That is like selling they should kill CHevy and leave Buick has the primary automaker.
Sales and profitability are two different things. Since Dodge is the lowest priced brand of the 5 under the Chrysler umbrella, there is a good chance they're also going to have the lowest profits on a per vehicle basis of any of them. The brand might even be losing money. Figure the overall profit numbers are somewhat meagre for Chrysler Corp & chances are they're making a decent amount off of Ram and Jeep; SRT is so small that it probably doesn't matter one way or the other; and Chrysler itself probably sees modest profits. Add that up, and the only explanation that I have for low overall profits is that Dodge losing a sizable portion of the money that the others are making. If thats the case, I could see Sergio & company consider dropping the brand. I don't think that result is likely, but I wouldn't be surprised if it happens either.
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Old 07-02-2013, 03:57 PM   #14
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Sales and profitability are two different things. Since Dodge is the lowest priced brand of the 5 under the Chrysler umbrella, there is a good chance they're also going to have the lowest profits on a per vehicle basis of any of them. The brand might even be losing money. Figure the overall profit numbers are somewhat meagre for Chrysler Corp & chances are they're making a decent amount off of Ram and Jeep; SRT is so small that it probably doesn't matter one way or the other; and Chrysler itself probably sees modest profits. Add that up, and the only explanation that I have for low overall profits is that Dodge losing a sizable portion of the money that the others are making. If thats the case, I could see Sergio & company consider dropping the brand. I don't think that result is likely, but I wouldn't be surprised if it happens either.
I just don't see how that could be with their current lineup. Most of what they have right now, with the exclusion of the dart and Durango, are older platforms that are long ago paid off. Also, they are not really less expensive than their Chrysler counterparts either. Basically the only reason the Chrysler's have been more expensive the last year or so is because there, with the exception of the 200, there are no more base model Chryslers. Basically, as expected, Dodge is being placed as the entry level maker for the cars and CUVs.You are right, we have to wait and see, but I am seeing it as they are doing what they set out to do, they are giving each brand a distinct identity.
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:34 PM   #15
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Have to keep in mind that when GM owned 20% of Fiat there were grand plans. Further have to keep in mind what Fiat wants to do as far as branding. Fiat is also Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Maserati annnnnd Ferrari (some strange financial relationship). So does Fiat envision that Lancia or Alfa can replace Dodge in the U.S. market? Only the VW group maintains a crap load of brands these days. Likely Fiat will attempt to bring Alfa here as GM hoped to. Does that replace Dodge? We'll see. Frankly I doubt it but 5 years ago would we have seen Pontiac and Mercury gone? Maybe not.
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:16 PM   #16
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No, Dodge is outselling the next highest seller under the Chrysler umbrella 2 to 1, so no, not including Ram. It would be like Ford killing the Ford brand or GM killing Chevrolet.


I mean

As many dodges as they are selling, I find it difficult to believe they'd give a new identity to almost all of their models.

Charger, avenger, challenger, not to mention vans and stuff... are they all going to be labeled under something different.. I doubt it
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Old 07-07-2013, 02:32 PM   #17
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I doubt they will give up that HUGE brand loyalty "just because". The goal is to sell cars.

They're just going to bring alpha romeo cars over and label them Dodge.

Too bad they can't get rid of the Chrysler brand. It only has the 300 and 200.
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