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Chrysler = “mass-market”

by David Zatz on

Allpar has reported on the positioning of Chrysler as a mass-market brand for some time, with evidence including  an interview with the former Chrysler brand CEO and a recent statement by FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne.

Sergio Marchionne indicated that Chrysler would move into the vacuum created by the loss of Plymouth; Mr. Marchionne referred to “the universalization of Chrysler as really the mass-market brand” in North America, which will allow “the completion of the work that has been started on Dodge to turn it into the sports car end of our offering in the NAFTA market.”

This does not mean that Chrysler would be purely entry-level, as Plymouth was at the end. Many forget that Plymouth started out above Ford, and for much of its life did command a price premium. Likewise, Chrysler 300 appears to be considered a “sub-brand.”

Mr. Marchionne has already said that FCA’s strategy was to have premium brands, and not shoot for the bottom.

A recent investor presentation bolsters the view of Chrysler as primarily a Toyota-Honda-Chevrolet competitor, rather than as an answer to Lexus or Mercedes. A page shows the brand portfolios, with luxury including Ferrari and Maserati, Premium limited to Alfa Romeo, and Mass-Market including:

  • Jeep: SUVs
  • Ram: Trucks and light commercial vehicles
  • Fiat Professional: light commercial vehicles
  • Dodge: performance
  • Chrysler: sedans and minivans

Thus, as Allpar has reported numerous times, Dodge is slotted in as the mass-market performance brand, and Chrysler as the mass-market sedan and minivan brand — essentially, replacing the long-gone Plymouth (especially in its 1930s incarnation as a premium mass-market brand).


The report’s cover shows all brands — with a Jeep in front, a Maserati and Ferrari in the second row, a Dodge and Alfa Romeo in the third row, and the other brands in the fourth row. There are actually two Chryslers in the photo, giving it double the representation of any other brand (assuming Fiat Professional is a separate brand) — a car (200) and a minivan.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304

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