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  #1  
Old 12-26-2016, 03:29 PM
Downshift Downshift is offline
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Default How to save FCA

I'm curious as to the opinions of my fellow posters as to how you would go about saving FCA on a brand by brand basis. For instance, what products would you change / add / delete to make Fiat a viable marque in the U.S.? For me, it would go something like this:
  1. Axe the 500L
  2. Redesign the 500 to be a bit larger and more fuel efficient.
  3. Add the Tipo sedan and 5-door since Dodge and Chrysler are incapable of making a compact work. Add an Abarth version of the 5-door to compete with other hot hatches on the market.
  4. Consider bringing the Toro to market unless Dodge comes up with its own small/midsize pickup.
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  #2  
Old 12-26-2016, 07:33 PM
Swallow Doretti Swallow Doretti is online now
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FCA is toast. The political landscape next year is going to do them in:

- Gas prices weren't predicted to go up next year, or anytime in the near future. Unfortunately, the same people making those predictions also expected another Clinton in the White House. There are about five different things in Trump's proposed tax plans that will lead to gas prices climbing, and it's a safe bet at least two of them will pass--right after FCA killed off its mainstream, more fuel efficient offerings.

- FCA's position is really precarious as it is--it's pretty clear that they're running out of money--so the next economic downturn is going to hit them a lot harder than it will other automakers who have cash reserves, or who have already sold off a chunk to the Chinese (see: Citroen-PSA). They'll need to find someone who wants to inject cash in a sinking ship, and has cash to inject. Which brings me to...

- The Chinese are likely off the table. It's hard to imagine a Chinese buyer coming in to rescue an iconic American brand like Jeep when Trump is in the White House trying to create a trade war. Maybe Ford will be forced to save Jeep--the political capital might be worth the financial cost--but that makes the rest of FCA that much less attractive. The Koreans are the only brand with sufficient cash at the moment--Nissan just tapped out rescuing Mitsubishi, VW is still in dieselgate hell, and Toyota is likely going to be tapped to help Mazda and Suzuki, neither Honda, GM nor Ford has enough cash on hand to bail out all or even large chunks of FCA--but they're still only likely interested in Jeep and Ram, so what happens to FIAT, Chrysler, Dodge, Alfa Romeo and Maserati is anybody's guess. And no, swizzle, Hyundai/Kia is never, ever going to buy those brands--they couldn't be given them during an Obama administration, and they certainly won't take them now.

I really just do not see a path forward for FCA, and I'm quite convinced either 2017 or 2018 will be the end of the road for the bulk of it.
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  #3  
Old 12-26-2016, 08:46 PM
Downshift Downshift is offline
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I completely and totally agree that their position is tenuous at best. However, as long as gas prices stay where they are and Jeep is still in the fold, there is still some hope for FCA in the short term. They definitely need to diversify their portfolio, which is part of reason I posed the question as to what mix of products would help the company stay afloat.

I think putting all of their eggs in the Jeep basket is a colossal mistake as there is no way we're looking at $2.40 gas long term. The hybrid Pacifica was a nice start, but the company definitely needs to expand its hybridization plans beyond that segment. If I were running the show, I'd have Dodge be the mainstream brand and reposition Chrysler as more of a "near-luxury" marque. Fiat would continue to be a niche brand, but with some models that can also serve as the second player in a segment a la the Kia Forte and Hyundai Elantra. So if Fiat has the compact Tipo, then Dodge would also have a compact sedan based on the same platform. Dodge would also need a real entry into the mid-size sedan segment and not one of their famous "tweeners" that played a half-segment too small to be serious cross-shopped with Camry / Fusion / Accord. I'd also have a stretched version of the Giulia platform underpin a replacement for the Charger and Challenger. Also, I think the minivan should have never left the Dodge stable and the Journey should just be axed in favor of a Jeep derived alternative.
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Old 12-27-2016, 08:01 AM
mario_128 mario_128 is offline
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VW had interest in Alfa, I could see them trying to take alfa and even Maserati. I think if FCA falls apart it will be Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep that will hurt.

A smart move might be to even kill Chrysler and Dodge now, Twin Jeep platforms onto Alfa. Cut back funding on Maserati and retreat back to Europe with Fiat.
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  #5  
Old 12-27-2016, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mario_128 View Post
VW had interest in Alfa, I could see them trying to take alfa and even Maserati. I think if FCA falls apart it will be Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep that will hurt.

A smart move might be to even kill Chrysler and Dodge now, Twin Jeep platforms onto Alfa. Cut back funding on Maserati and retreat back to Europe with Fiat.
VW isn't in any position to take on anything else at this point.
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  #6  
Old 12-27-2016, 04:55 PM
Downshift Downshift is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mario_128 View Post
VW had interest in Alfa, I could see them trying to take alfa and even Maserati. I think if FCA falls apart it will be Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep that will hurt.

A smart move might be to even kill Chrysler and Dodge now, Twin Jeep platforms onto Alfa. Cut back funding on Maserati and retreat back to Europe with Fiat.
I have a sneaking suspicion that Marchionne was hedging his bets when he made RAM its own brand. He knows pickups and commercial vehicles have pretty good margins, so if he shutters the rest of the FCA brands, he'll still have two that can make money hand over fist.
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  #7  
Old 12-27-2016, 10:38 PM
2b2 2b2 is offline
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tho not trying to be realistic
I'd (still) like to see all U.S FCA assets repossessed/nationalized
then
'give!' the Chrysler brand & accoutrements to Tesla, to build petrol/hybrid versions of:
the S as 300 & 200 ....(chops are out there somewhere) &
the 3 as a 100
(maybe reverse that for the Pacifica replacing the X)

not sure what to do with the rest... just don't like Faraday or KARMA;
maybe LUCID? or Fisker(/Emotion)?
or Rivian Automotive (DSM) if that happens?
&
have heard frequently that the Jeep brand is a curse that'll eventually takedown any Mfg who owns it
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  #8  
Old 12-28-2016, 01:47 PM
caarmike caarmike is offline
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On a more practical note, FCA can't do a really big new product push right now like Downshift reccomends. They are likely getting sold/merged but we don't know to who or when. Until that happens they need to put the best facefforward they can. Here are some things I think they can do in the next 12 months to shore things up.

Promote the heck out of the plug in Pacifica. This won't make a lot of money but will be a great halo for the brand. Get as many out there as possible.

Throw some bones to Dart/200 customers. They need to give the tens of thousands of practical car buyers some reason to go back to an FCA showroom. How about a more car like Compass tweaked for ride quality and fuel economy. And maybe a deconted Charger that could sell for Camry prices.

Finally, unwind the stand alone Fiat dealerships. Its cleat this brand is not going to grow in the US so merge the dealers with CDJ. Alfa can be sold with Maserati or Ferrari until such time it proves it deserves its own dealer network.
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  #9  
Old 12-28-2016, 05:42 PM
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Naga Royal Guard Naga Royal Guard is offline
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I still almost feel that Chrysler itself can single-handedly save the big Rwd mid sized sedan.

And with that: and all new platform for the Charger and 300. Let the Charger have the lowest and highest end powertrains where this tactic is proven while the Chrysler goes on with the mid range equipment coupled with competitive luxury trappings (they need to go against Lincoln here).

The Jeep Renegade seems rather competitive, so why not extend that lineup a bit more?

Finally, Mazda is eager for a dance partner - im sure they could whip up a good compact sedan to sell alongside those new Rwd sedans.

Fiat can be put out to pasture while Alfa can return at interval with whatever exotic foolishness they think people are willing to buy.

Oh, and get rich of Sergio M and the following ideas of his :

The Pacifica platform underpinning sedans
The $100k Wagoneer
Merger with General Motors
Dating Mary Barra
Spinning RAM off as its own brand
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  #10  
Old 12-29-2016, 02:29 AM
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The question is whether FCA can make it through 2017.

Fiat has been a dismal failure as a brand and should go back to Italy.

Alfa Romeo came back without a product line, so any momentum that the 4C might have created--I see none--is gone and the Giulia simply isn't captivating enough. Stelvio? Yeah right!

The move with Maserati would have been to have given them the Giulia and Stelvio.

Essentially, no one would miss the Italian brands.

Chrysler is dead due to product starvation.

Dodge is dying due to old and outdated product.

Even FCA's cash-cow brands need massive investment.

Ram needs a massive investment because the many-times-warmed-over pickup is old.

Jeep has a hit with the Renegade and likely the Compass, but the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee need serious revision and not just restyling. Not doing the Wagoneer was dumb.
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