Could Chrysler Be Killed This Friday?
Swirling rumors suggest that one of America's oldest remaining automakers could be on the chopping block.
A new image released by Automotive News outlines the agenda for FCA's Friday remarks. Interestingly, the sheet does not include talking points regarding Chrysler, Fiat, or Dodge as part of FCA's five-year strategy.
Sergio Marchionne will hold an investor's meeting in Italy on Friday, June 1, in Balocco, Italy, where the CEO will possibly kill one the corporation's most historic brand. FCA specialist Larry P. Vellequette of Automotive News reports that "a source told a European colleague" that Marchionne would declare the end of the Chrysler nameplate in the speech to investors.
In addition, Marchionne could detail plans to pull Fiat out of the United States and China, according to Automotive News. The brand would re-focus on building vehicles for Europe, Brazil, and emerging markets.
FCA's big strategic pivot would free up money to invest even more into Jeep, which is already the corporation's most profitable division. Among the new products reportedly on the way, there would be an even smaller SUV below the Renegade and the luxurious Grand Wagoneer for challenging the upper end of the segment.
The corporation might also merge Alfa Romeo and Maserati into a single, performance-oriented division, according to Automotive News. The move would make sense because having two brands focusing on sports cars doesn't make much sense when consumers are currently clamoring for crossovers.
These major moves would be Marchionne's final grand flourish as CEO before he retires from FCA next year. He has led the company for the last 14 years, including spearheading the merger between Fiat and Chrysler and spinning off Ferrari.
If Marchionne actually kills the Chrysler brand, it would be the end of a nameplate with over 90 years of history in the United States. However, the lineup consists of just two models today: the ancient 300 sedan and the still fresh Pacifica minivan. With so few products, axing Chrysler is easier than ever.