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This Just In...(Revision to Merger Agreement € / $)

Discussion in 'Mopar / FCA News' started by 77 Monaco Brougham, Sep 14, 2020.

  1. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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    Tony,

    Reasonable.

    Ram is already pretty much a global brand, and seems to be doing better than Fiat Professional in some regions. I'd drop Fiat Professional where it's not dominant, and use Ram instead.

    I think Lancia is pretty much dead in the new scheme. I don't really see how it adds beyond DS, Maserati, and Alfa. Yeah, it has a history, so did Studebaker, Humber, Hillman, Singer, Packard, Nash, Hudson, Rambler, Commer, Plymouth, Chrysler Europe, Fargo, Airtemp, New Venture, New Process, Briggs, Kaiser, Sunbeam, Chalmers, Maxwell, Columbia, Bristol, Facel Vega, Willys, Austin, Pontiac, Mercury, Oldsmobile, Olds, La Salle, DeSoto, Bantam, Karrier, and Jensen. Where are they now?

    I think Alfa Romeo has no future; there's not much demand for true drivers' cars, and what there is, why not just get a BMW? This is why BMW imitators (like Cadillac, which went from Buick-luxury to BMW-imitation) have a hard time till they find their own niche. It's easier to fight for attention in the just-comfortable-and-gadgety-sport-touring arena, like Lexus vs Mercedes vs Buick vs Maserati etc. (I know nobody cross shops Buick and Maserati, but Mercedes and Lexus are at both ends of that range). I figure DS will swallow up Alfa Romeo except maybe in Italy.

    Peugeot could come to the US though it's so freakin’ hard to spell. Opel can't leave its current places, AFAIK, and as far as I can figure, it's being converted to a brand of Peugeot anyway.

    I don't think Chrysler has any sort of good reputation outside of some car guys in Australia, South Africa, and other outlying regions. I really don't see it staying on as a brand. I couldn't justify it if I was on the board. (My apologies to Mr. Rhodes.) Not when they have DS to bring over and, as you say, Dodge can be a mainstream+muscle brand — like Pontiac now and then.
     
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  2. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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    Jeep is becoming an actual premium brand, slowly. I doubt we will see the miniature Jeep now, too, because of that. As for Imperial, yes, that's exactly what I mean. Chrysler is too tainted by its recent history and the connection to two bailouts to ever be a true premium brand. Keep in mind, too, that the company that was Chrysler folded twice in its roughly 30-year history.

    I would want it to use a less expensive version of the Maserati chassis with a much cheaper engine, yes. Not a less upscale version of Maserati. Basically, instead of a hideously expensive forced-induction V6, the new turbo I-6, and/or a cheaper V6 hybrid, and/or a Hemi V8, and/or the four-cylinder turbo hybrid. Rougher, noisier, less expensive engines. The car would end up being heavier without Maserati's exotic materials, but why throw away the basic design? The Maserati feel is great for a highway cruiser, but it's out of range for many buyers. Also, it would be a good basis for a Magnum-style SUV, which, by the way, is what I suspect the next Grand Cherokee will be... basically a big Giorgio wagon.


    Yes, or both. Grand Cherokee will still have some provisions for off-road worthiness. Make one that is never intended for more than gravel and it will be considerably lighter. [/quote]

    Ram build quality is ahead of VW already. A VW Wagoneer would have been a travesty - a Touareg with a slotted grille.
     
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  3. Tony K

    Tony K Active Member

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    Dave, I can't disagree with your overall assessment. That said, two thoughts:

    First, I think you, like many, are assuming true driver cars don't make a comeback with the advent of self-driving cars. Why not just get a BMW? Because then there would just be BMW, and that would be sad, and not great for BMW either. Giulia, despite its teething pains, was a shot across BMW's bow, and one it needed. AR has it's issues, but nothing is really insurmountable, though how long it will take is a big question right now, all things considered.

    As for Chrysler, the only thing holding it back is FCA, and STEL potentially trying to do too much with DS and Peugeot in NA. If STEL builds a quality organization, translates that to quality products, and demands quality experiences at the customer level, Chrysler, and every STEL brand, will fix itself. Toyota has been proving that theory since Lido was Chairman of Ma Mopar. The world is big enough.
     
  4. Adventurer55

    Adventurer55 Well-Known Member

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    The organization needs to learn one big lesson from Alfa. Put your house in order before you dump a pile of cash into an unproven risk. After the merger there will be much work to do on many fronts. Please don't become what GM used to be. Each region becoming it's own fiefdom, and the top management had no clue what was going on where.
     
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  5. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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    Good points. The rebirth of Alfa Romeo made some sense but the timing was awful - just as people stop driving cars, start making “real drivers' cars.” I don't know why they didn't go crossover sooner with Maserati, for that matter, rather than doing the relatively downmarket Ghibli. What's more, they were still in the midst of redoing their other brands.

    I've heard the excuse of "L-cars were too old, we needed to restart and do a global platform.” To which I say, platforms aren't everything, just a fad that comes and goes. Sometimes you make the most money by making vehicles that are perfectly suited to their purpose, and that means giving up some sharing — or creating new markets. The Cherokee/Comanche are an example there, and Wagoneer/Gladiator; perhaps more so, the Chrysler minivan/FWD cargo van. Admittedly the minivan was created atop the K car but the design certainly moved forward when they said "Okay, no more platform sharing for the minivan!"

    When was Chrysler most profitable? In the 1930s and again in the 1990s — when they had one platform per segment.
     
  6. 77 Monaco Brougham

    77 Monaco Brougham Well-Known Member

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    (Saturn and Eagle say): "HEY!...You hurt our feelings by leaving us out!" :p:D
     
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  7. Stéphane Dumas

    Stéphane Dumas Well-Known Member

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    Indeed, as I mentionned earlier here or in an other thread, I don't remember. ^^; It would be weird to see Opels sold at Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep/Ram dealers after being sold for years by Buick dealers in the 1960s-1970s and being associated with GM for a lot of decades. Seeing an Opel at a Mopar showroom and you wonder if you just entered in The Twilight Zone, lol. :D
     
  8. Tony K

    Tony K Active Member

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    Why "instead?" Why does it have to be either/or? There's room for off-road bias (Jeep) and on-road bias (Dodge Durango base/muscle//Imperial Fifth Avenue/Chrysler New Yorker, whatever you want to call it, upmarket/more city look).


    First, I'm a contrarian, so I think the problem isn't timing but an abortion of a re-entry. Alfa Romeo had ONE JOB, goes the meme.
     
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  9. Adventurer55

    Adventurer55 Well-Known Member

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    It was off on all fronts. Quality, timing, and wrong product first. SUV should probably have came first.
     
  10. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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    I agree, but the crossover was not as impressively different from other cars. It was somewhat more gently tuned. If I had to buy one of those cars for daily commuting, it would be the crossover. If I had to buy one for fun-time alone, or if I lived in a rural area with good roads and visible turns, it would be the sedan.
     
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  11. Adventurer55

    Adventurer55 Well-Known Member

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    Well it's all water under the bridge at this point. Can't look back, just learn from miscues.
     
  12. T_690

    T_690 Well-Known Member

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    Which SUV?
     
  13. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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    Stelvio vs Giulia
    Not talking about track numbers and such - just general feel - the thing the average person uses on their minimal test drive.

    I will NOT say the Stelvio and Giulia are unimpressive. They are impressive. The history of the car, though, says that being impressive is not enough. Heck, look at the USA Ford Explorer vs Jeep Cherokee... any number of times, the less capable car outsells the better ones.
     
  14. Chrysler UK

    Chrysler UK Active Member

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    Are you talking about the Renegade & Compass? Or another car entirely?

    Well if FCA (& I assume Stellantis) want to make Jeep into an actual Premium Brand and a new brand needs to be established to replace DS, Lancia, Chrysler and Alfa Romeo; then Imperial & Jeep would have to be both Premium Brands in their own right. With the former being an openly "On Road" Brand (as well as having a 100% Electric Lineup) and the latter remaining a shamelessly "Off-Road" Brand (as well as having a 100% Petrol & Plug-In Hybrid Lineup).

    I would imagine then that the Imperial-Jeep Lineup would consist of the following vehicles:

    Imperial New Yorker (Chrysler 300 replacement)

    Jeep Renegade

    Jeep Compass

    Jeep Cherokee/Imperial LeBaron (1)

    Jeep Grand Cherokee/Imperial Aspen (1)

    Jeep Wagoneer/Imperial Concorde

    *In other words, Imperial & Jeep would basically become the American Version of JLR.

    (1) With the WL Jeep Grand Cherokee (5-Seater) becoming the "Jeep Cherokee & Imperial LeBaron" and the WL Jeep Grand Cherokee (7-Seater) becoming the "Jeep Grand Cherokee & Imperial Aspen"

    Indeed so.

    I see then; in relation to this, would you be in favour of basing the Chrysler 300 Replacement (which I would prefer to call the Imperial New Yorker) on the M156 Platform that the Quattroporte uses?

    After some reconsideration, I feel that there is a case to be made on having Jeep & Imperial versions of the WL75 Model. With the difference between the two mainly being over powertains (Jeep being Petrol/PHEV & Imperial being Electric) and Off-Road Capability.

    I would agree, especially when it comes to the Interiors.

    I highly doubt that any VW version of the Jeep Wagoneer would have been a rebranded Volkeagen Touareg, especially when VW uses the Touareg's MLBevo Platform on the Porsche Cayenne, Audi Q7/Q8, Bentley Bentayga & the Lamborghini Urus as well, all of which look very different from each other.[/QUOTE]
     
    #74 Chrysler UK, Sep 20, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2020
  15. Chrysler UK

    Chrysler UK Active Member

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    Would you be in favour of scrapping the Fiat Professional, Peugeot Professional, Citroen Commercial Vehicles & Opel/Vauxhall Commercial Vehicles brands in favour of a single global Ram brand? Especially when they all market the same vans anyway...

    Alfa Romeo could remain as the performance brand of Imperial (or DS).

    It would make a lot of sense to scrap the Opel & Vauxhall brands in favour of putting more focus on the Peugeot instead.
     
  16. KrisW

    KrisW Well-Known Member

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    Removing Alfa Romeo leaves a hole that another available brand cannot fill. Anyone saying that DS is capable or replacing Alfa needs to actually drive the respective products before making that judgement.

    DS is basically the modern Lancia: a comfortable, well-trimmed vehicle for buyers who care more about styling and comfort than dynamics or power. By all means, add it to the portfolio, and go for the Audi buyers, but if you take away Alfa, its buyers will return to BMW, not move to DS.

    There’s a place for both of those premium options in the market, although I don’t see why DS needs to come to the USA when Chrysler was slowly taking that same path already.

    The other problem with the US market is that not one DS model is suitable for US sale - not just Federalization, but also the choice of power train is even more European than FIAT. Big cars with tiny turbocharged engines would not sell. If the merger gets done in January, it would be three to four years before a US-ready product could be developed for DS. Alfa will have four more models by then, two of which (E-CUV and large coupé) are definitely USA-friendly, and one (Tonale) with good potential.

    The big thing about launching any brand is that you need a top-class dealership network to do it. How did most people buy their first Lexus? They went in to change their Toyota, and the dealer showed them this new thing, and the customer trusted that the dealer would be there for them if their leap into the unknown with a new brand turned out badly.

    Perhaps instead of spending more money to bring more brands into the States, it could be spent on getting the US dealer network to a higher standard. Then, people might get more adventurous with their car choices.
     
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  17. pumadog

    pumadog Well-Known Member

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    Reading through this thread it seems that many writers don't really know the European brands/products. For example DS and Alfa have totally opposite characters! IMHO:
    • Abarth could loose it's standalone brand status (again) to free up space. Has no exclusive models anyway. A Fiat 500 Abarth does more for Fiat's image than a Abarth 500. And saves marketing budget.
    • Alfa Romeo as the premium sister of luxury Maserati. Sharing engineering and production resources as sporty latin brands at different price points. Has never seen continuous investments to build up customer trust and show its potential in the last decades.
    • Fiat (excl. 500) is quite similar to Citroen with playful affordable mass market cars. Those brands could split their markets if it got necessary.
    • Lancia is the Italian counterpart of DS. Still alive in Italy for historical reasons. Could end up as a luxury sub-brand of Fiat.
    • Maserati, see Alfa. Has room to move upwards now that Ferrari is off FCA.
    • Citroen, see Fiat
    • DS = Citroens with plush and chrome. Got room for life after cheapening of Citroen. Could be reduced to a sub-brand again as it has no real following or history.
    • Opel is the most "serious", plain mainstream brand in the PSA staple. Sales in north European fleets. Easy to differentiate from its IT/FR cousins.
    • Peugeot as french mainstream, less serious than Opel, more up-market than Citroen.
    • Vauxhall is just rebadged Opels. As long as it makes sense…
    • Jeep does not interfere with the European brands with its own rustic, boxy, "American" character.
    Badge engineering between 3-4 brands is okay for the commercial vans as tight service networks and full model ranges are more important than brand character in this field.
     
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  18. patfromigh

    patfromigh Well-Known Member

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    The same could be said for pickup trucks. Pickup trucks aren't common in Europe, but the way FCA is marketing Ram globally seems to work. They market LCVs and trucks as Fiats where the Fiat brand does well and as Rams where the Ram name does well. (In the absence of the Fargo and DeSoto names.) I don't expect much of a push into China and SE Asia because we can't ignore the influence of Dongfeng.
     
  19. gforce2002

    gforce2002 Well-Known Member

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    [/QUOTE]
    There is no way, in their current state, Renegade and Compass could be considered premium vehicles. Asking prices notwithstanding. Their quality and refinement barely matches mainstream brands’ entry level models.
     
  20. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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    I totally agree on this, it was like having SRT on its own.
    Alfa and Maserati have totally different feels and audiences. Are you suggesting they give up on beating BMW and try to beat Mercedes? I have no problem with that, but it seems to me Chrysler would do as well without as much work, at least outside the US.
    Romance and history are the only reasons Lancia hasn't already had its plug pulled. Are you suggestion the Fiat Lancia?

    Somehow I never saw Maserati and Ferrari as existing in the same world, regardless.
    • DS = Citroens with plush and chrome. Got room for life after cheapening of Citroen. Could be reduced to a sub-brand again as it has no real following or history.
    • Opel is the most "serious", plain mainstream brand in the PSA staple. Sales in north European fleets. Easy to differentiate from its IT/FR cousins.
    • Peugeot as french mainstream, less serious than Opel, more up-market than Citroen.
    • Vauxhall is just rebadged Opels. As long as it makes sense…
    • Jeep does not interfere with the European brands with its own rustic, boxy, "American" character.
    Badge engineering between 3-4 brands is okay for the commercial vans as tight service networks and full model ranges are more important than brand character in this field.[/QUOTE]

    Yup, I'd agree with that. You left out Ram which is being introduced globally, at a slow pace.

    There is no way, in their current state, Renegade and Compass could be considered premium vehicles. Asking prices notwithstanding. Their quality and refinement barely matches mainstream brands’ entry level models.[/QUOTE]

    Agreed for the US at least. However, they loaded them up this year with gadgets. Lexus IS was hardly the refinement dream when it was released, either. I suspect the Renegade and Compass may quietly die at the end of their current cycles, or be replaced by more appropriate vehicles on new architectures.
     

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