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Scheduled for 2015

by David Zatz on

Investors were presented with “what’s coming” plans for each FCA brand last year. It may be worth revisiting the plans for 2015, though some models have been delayed.

The American 2015 calendar year is not as busy as it could be, after a crowded 2013-14 and facing more activity in the near future — a lull between storms, so to speak. However, near the end of the year, a Grand Cherokee refresh was scheduled; a re-engineered Grand Cherokee remains due in late 2017/early 2018, with a Wagoneer following in late 2018/early 2019.

2019 Jeep Wagoneer

The Jeep Compass replacement, which we will expect to be called Compass, was reportedly delayed, but isn’t due this year anyway. Both Patriot and Compass will continue onwards until the new vehicle is put into production; by then, Renegade production will be running at full steam.

Over at Chrysler, there is nothing scheduled on the plan. Sources have the new minivans coming next year, along with the Chrysler 100.

Chrysler 100C spy shot

Dodge is quiet as well, with the Dodge Viper originally scheduled for a July 2015 refresh. Dodge will have a very busy 2016, if the plan is to be believed, but recent reports claim Journey will be pushed back, and an SRT version is unlikely.

We believe that Journey is going to move to the new rear drive platform shared with Alfa Romeo, Chrysler will get a front wheel drive crossover based on Cherokee to replace Journey and Fiat Freemont, and the new Journey will have to wait for Alfa Romeo to get a similar vehicle so they can claim to have engineered both.

The Ram 1500 is supposed to get a minor update, which may be pushed into early 2016 instead. The Ram 1500 has been updated twice recently. We don’t know what the update will entail, other than (we believe) the new dual-purpose tailgate and possibly stowing rear seats for better interior storage.

2016 ram tailgate

Over at Fiat (the brand), it will be a huge year, with a new A-segment car and compact pickup in Latin America, the Ottimo Cross in Asia-Pacific, a new compact sedan (“Fiat Aegean” based) and a new specialty car in Europe/Middle East/Africa. Fiat also launched the 500X in Europe and has already sold some in the United States, and is scheduled to a “specialty car” (most likely the Fiat Miata) in the US at the end of the calendar year. A new Doblo is out there in the van realm.

fiat aegea SUSW compact car

Maserati is supposed to be releasing the Levante at long last; it’s based on the large car underpinnings which are derived from Chrysler’s large cars, with standard all wheel drive. We suspect they will work at purging any visible Chrysler parts such as headlight switches to avoid critics from having sarcasm attacks.

Finally, Alfa Romeo is to launch at least a rear wheel drive midsized car in summer 2015, to match their founding date.  Alfa’s CEO, Harald Wester, claims that the company is doing it all on their own, but it appears that the underpinnings have been jointly developed with Chrysler, to say the least, and we expect Dodge versions of most Alfas — at lower cost and with different engines.

Also see our car by car analysis of various launch delays and postponements.

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