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FCA’s future through suppliers’ eyes

by David Zatz on

A new analyst’s report of FCA’s future casts doubt on Dodge’s ability to get new cars into the field in the near future.

UHY LLP, a group of accountants, also produces a monthly North American production forecast; one of their reports was leaked on the Web and has been widely commented on. The group provides  services beyond accounting to automotive suppliers, who may be both the source of their information and its target.

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The group’s forecast shows the Jeep Patriot continuing to December 2016, rather than being dropped this month — a move less precisely suggested by Allpar, since the Patriot is likely to remain until the new Compass starts up (we believe the Renegade will also move to the US for local purchases, given its better than expected reception).

The Jeep Cherokee’s refresh has been pushed back, possibly because there is no urgency, and possibly because a rumored AWD redesign has proved tougher than first thought. It’s now set for mid-2017. The Jeep Grand Cherokee has also been pushed back, with the new Grand Cherokee “WL” replacing “WK” in late 2018.

The group believes that the Chrysler 100 will still appear, though now it’s been delayed to September 2017; and that the Fiat 500 will continue through to November 2019 in its current form, with a new generation starting at that time. Most reports had the 500 leaving to Europe in the next year. They also show the Fiat Freemont as being dropped, despite decent sales in Europe and other regions; it’s possible that FCA will simply continue with the Dodge Journey branding in countries such as Australia.

Jim Morrison with Grand Cherokee

The group sees Dodge/Ram production dropping quite a bit from 2016 onwards, falling to under half a million vehicles per year all the way to 2022, possibly assuming Caravan sales will drop; they do not mention any new Dodges or Rams, though others predicted a new line of RWD cars.

They do predict a major boost for the Chrysler brand, possibly due to the new minivan and crossover, steading out at over 600,000 sales per year after 2017. They suggest that Jeep will fall below a million sales per year this year, and stay there to the end, coming close to a million but not reaching it.

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