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EuroChrysler outlook, new pickup

by David Zatz on

In Europe (including the Middle East and Africa), the traditional mainstream customer is, according to IHS data, dropping from 70% of the market in 2004, to 56% in 2013, to 42% in 2018. Both premium customers (18% in 2004, 25% in 2013, to 30% in 2018) and budget-conscious customers (12% to 19% to 28%) are growing as a share of the market.

In response, FCA is changing its portfolio, partly be restarting Alfa Romeo and increasing Jeep’s presence in “the Premium battlefield.” Fiat is being reshaped to reach both high-margin objectives and budget-driven demand. The goal is to keep leadership in mini car, light commercial, and small MPV segments; regain Fiat’s key position in compact cars; and take a primary role in SUVs, crossovers, mid-to-large cars, and pickups.

Jeep is to be coupled with Alfa Romeo at dealerships, to emphasize a “premium quality customer experience.” Overall, Jeep is to increase its sales network by around 25%.

The company hopes to increase Jeep sales from 50,000 today to 270,000 in 2018, a massive increase presumably fueled by Renegade and Cherokee. Other Chrysler vehicle sales — Lancia, Dodge, Chrysler, and Ram — were shown, though, as falling from 110,000 to 80,000 per year. Alfa Romeo is poised to leap from 70,000 to 150,000, while Fiat itself is seen as moving from 620,000 to 730,000 in 2018. (Maserati and Alfa Romeo were not included in the chart. Abarth is included with Fiat figures.)

The company predicts that Italy will be the single largest buyer of FCA vehicles in Europe/Middle East/Africa, with 400,000 sales in 2013 and 500,000 in 2018; the rest of the “European 28” and EFTA countries will account for slightly more (500,000 in 2013, 600,000 in 2018); and Middle Eastern/African countries will double in sales from 200,000 to 400,000, according to the projections. Domestic production alone will not bring European factories to 100% use; the company plans to export around 40% of its production in 2018.


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