News - Chrysler
Chrysler brand under threat: report
Jeep to be FCA’s main focus amid slow-selling Fiat and Chrysler models: Bloomberg
31 May 2018
By TUNG NGUYEN
FIAT Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) chief executive officer Sergio Marchionne will reportedly announce a phase out of the American Chrysler brand from its global portfolio as it ramps up its focus on the booming SUV and pick-up segments.
According to Bloomberg, the sweeping changes are expected to be announced in the coming days at an investor’s meeting as the 65-year-old prepares to step down next year after taking the reins of Fiat in 2004 and bringing it back from the brink of ruin.
The new strategy would see FCA place its faith in the Jeep brand, the largest and most profitable marque in its portfolio, as well as Ram pick-up trucks.
Mr Marchionne will look to double Jeep’s global output by 2022, according to reports, targeting emerging markets in Asia and Brazil, as well as Europe, to spearhead sales with new models and hybrid powertrains.
The importance of Fiat, which has failed to gain traction in the US and Chinese markets, and Chrysler, which only offers two models globally, will be downplayed, while Alfa Romeo and Maserati could be merged into a single entity.
In Australia however, things get a bit more complicated.
While FCA Australia controls the importation of Jeep, Fiat, Abarth, Alfa Romeo vehicles, local distribution of Maserati and Ram vehicles are controlled by the Ateco Group.
Jeep however, is far and away FCA Australia’s largest contributor with 2472 sales to the end of April this year, accounting for two thirds (66 per cent) of the group’s total 3724 sales in 2018.
Alfa Romeo has sold 401 vehicles year to date thanks to a boost from the Stelvio SUV, while Fiat and its sports brand Abarth has sold 401 units and Chrysler has sold just 109 examples of its 300 sedan, largely due to its adoption by the New South Wales Police Force as its newest pursuit vehicle.
Fiat Professional, which includes the Doblo and Ducato light-commercial vehicles, meanwhile, has boosted the tally by 341 units.
Therefore, if FCA were to pull the pin on international Chrysler products, the impact to the Australian division would be minimal.
Mr Marchionne is due to make his presentation in Italy on Friday.
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