Why Stellantis needs Chrysler | Autoblog

Rodolfo Schellin

Stellantis has a secret weapon. It is named Chrysler. Rumors swirled this yr that the ninety six-yr-aged namesake brand name of the former Chrysler Corp. could be on the chopping block, but Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares immediately shot them down. Now what?

The brand name has three nameplates: the three hundred sedan, the Pacifica minivan and Voyager minivan, which is just an entry-stage model of the Pacifica. Sedans and vans are not superior priorities for most automakers, but they function for Chrysler. And for the reason that it is these types of a modest brand name, it has wonderful possibility.

Look at the existing solution line:

The Pacifica is a single of the greatest minivans you can invest in. Stellantis has a good deal of brands, but it doesn’t have that lots of singular products that are at or around the major of their segments. The Pacifica is very good, but the Pacifica Hybrid is unmatched. It is an reasonably priced, plug-in electric minivan that’s efficient and functional. There’s very little else like it on the market.

The three hundred is historic, and as opposed to its system mate, the very advanced Dodge Charger, the three hundred has languished. The three hundred is however a good quality sedan, but it’s absent from trendsetter to afterthought. Chrysler wants a new three hundred that’s diverse from the Charger and delivers some sort of quality proposition. In this watch, a rear-wheel-drive flagship that’s performance-oriented but civilized would function. The existing formulation, basically, just current. There’s a good deal of fairness in the three hundred nameplate, and frankly the Chrysler brand name wants vehicles, so killing this sedan doesn’t make a good deal of sense. Obtain an identity and make it function. 

A revitalized three hundred and a profitable Pacifica invest in some time. Then?

Just two much more vehicles would make Chrysler considerably stronger. Resist the urge to go with a athletics car, which would drain time and resources. Did the Crossfire do something for Chrysler? Even if they nail it, it’s however a specialized niche automobile. As an alternative, go for the clear — but make it fascinating. A midsize crossover with an wonderful interior and a plug-in powertrain, like the Lincoln Aviator, would do the trick. Offer you two- and three-row variants. This may well bump up from Jeep and its Wagoneer relatives. Really do not worry, Jeep will be good. This is about resuscitating Chrysler. Do one thing clever with the suspension (again, like the Aviator and its Mustang-derived chassis) or insert some sort of discussion-setting up technologies, like Volvo’s safety attributes.

The other model should be all-electric. Hyundai, Nissan, Chevy, Volkswagen, Ford and other individuals are now in the EV place with a mainstream model. Dust off the greatest identify or make up a new a single, give it competitive performance and style the hell out of it. Make the Chrysler model of the Audi E-Tron GT and Porsche Taycan. An alternate situation: make this the new three hundred. A new SUV and EV, alongside the Pacifica, may well be more than enough to make Chrysler competitive with just three automobile traces.

Let’s choose a stage back. A quality brand name is much more than a luxurious for most modern automakers. It provides better margins and an impression halo. Although Chrysler is modest centered on volume (110,464 income in 2020, down thirteen{7e488363c11ee5ef50445c8c4fa770b6e6e4f99e57faea264a05ac52abb3ffe0}), there’s however crucial mass.

That explained, a practical Chrysler isn’t totally crucial for a thriving Stellantis. The U.S. market is saturated. The business could make up floor (and gains) in other parts with products from its other brands. That would be unwise.

But there’s a deeper reason for fortifying Chrysler. The identify. The Stellantis moniker is a bit of a punchline in automotive circles, and the average American car purchaser has no concept what it is. The optics of closing the Chrysler brand name would be terrible for the business. Most people really don’t make the distinction amongst the Chrysler brand name (or Ford, VW or Toyota) and their broader companies. Close Chrysler and you’re perplexing people, moreover you’ve obtained a good deal of Jeep and Dodge sellers with ground place to fill.

This is a measured strategy to rebuilding Chrysler. It is about some possibility and ambition — the hypothetical ‘Taycan-fighting’ EV — and a good deal of very good sense. Two of the other proposed styles now exist and fourth could be a clever Jeep by-product. It is also about not creating a mistake. Shuttering the Chrysler brand name would be a single.

Stellantis doesn’t will need my suggestions, but the argument is simple: There’s a persuasive circumstance for Chrysler.

Greg Migliore is editor-in-chief of Autoblog. Follow him on Twitter at @gregmigliore.

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