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That body dates back to 2009 which means the pickup he bought was likely pre-2009. IIRC the Ram name from trucks occurred in 2009, so its very likely he had a Dodge Ram 2nd or 3rd gen.
Not to mention, VINs were still Dodge until 2012, IIRC. I actually verified this 8 months ago. I only know it was 8 months because in order to confirm my recollection, I had to dig into my Disqus comments. I gave up trying to find a comment here because I knew it was less than a year ago, and I found nothing back that far.
 

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This attraction consumers have for Jeep borders on obsession: it is neither rational nor sustainable. At some point the market is going to have enough of Jeep and move on. Particularly since the customer experience and the quality are not where they need to be to sustain those sales, prices and profits.

It wouldn't be the first time consumers grow tired of a brand and move on. Buick and Oldsmobile were selling 1 MILLION UNITS EACH in the late 1970s and early 1980s; ten years later GM couldn't give them away. Granted, a Wrangler is more unique than an Cutlass, but Buick and Oldsmobile had much superior quality and customer treatment than Jeep ever did.

But the owners of FCA don't give a hoot; they will milk this cow until its utters bleed. After that, it will be PSA's problem.
I hope Jeep adapts and changes with the times. Electric Jeeps and lots of technology 10 years from now. Else people are maybe right, poor gas mileage and poor quality, failure to modernize may put them on same boat as Harley Davidson. But right now they are certainly a profit engine. Harley was too in late 90s early OOs. The key is vision and investment in the product.

Dodge and chrysler are already in worse shape than Harley. Possibly no hope there...
 

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Dodge’s “performance” halo is a mirage: brand sales are down by half; the future of the plant that makes Charger and Challenger is uncertain; Durango’s replacement is uncertain. Dodge’s future doesn’t seem all that bright.
They killed the Angel the Halo was supposed to be hanging over.
 

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Thing is, Mercedes has no alternative but to expand down market with CLA and GLA if it wants to capture the volume Daimler believes it needs to maintain sufficient mass.

The beauty is, FCA does not need Jeep to extend down into Renegade territory; it owns half a dozen other brands that can do that. But because Jeep gives them the volume they seek with the least amount of time, money and effort, FCA simply slaps the Jeep badge onto everything it makes, with little regards to long-term consequences.

Neon and PT Cruiser prove that when the product is right, people will buy it.

I’d argue that 500X is indeed the right product, but it should have been styled and branded as a Chrysler to sell better on these shores.
Mercedes needed to do that to not buy credits from Tesla.
 

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I am not entirely sure the Dart was profitable when warranty costs were added in. The 200 was, by all accounts, more reliable. Even so, I wonder about those early nine-speeds. It was a pricey car to make. I know nobody can beat ZF for sheer efficiency, but it would have been good for Chrysler to either partner with GM or work on their own modern transmissions at some point, because it's a huge cost over time. But maybe they are... or maybe they are waiting to see if some other technology comes along? It would indeed be a waste to do that work if the market went to hybrids+BEVs and the only transmissions were two-speeds or CVTs.

Anyway...

Dart would have been profitable, I suspect, if they had done it entirely with the 2.0 and 2.4 for the first year. The 1.4 is fun but wasn't ready when the Dart launched. I know it was the gas mileage king but that was not the best way to sell it even then.

What I would REALLY like to see are those platform teams for the mass-market cars, starting from a clean sheet. No more hammering platforms into shape. Giorgio was reportedly done that way and it worked for the Giulia; it hit its design goals, as far as I can tell.

If you are getting the idea I don't believe in “one platform for every car” — which I know works for Toyota and VW — you're right, when it comes to FCA and its wide variety of needs. Nearly every popular FCA car is a niche car. The only exceptions I can readily point to are (for North America) Ram pickups, and (for Europe) the Fiats. Maybe minivans, too...
Giorgio hit its design goals and failed in its sales goals, due to price, styling and yes, drive wheels. (If in doubt, see Lexus ES sales). EMP1/CMP and EMP2 will have to be hammered into shape for the US market, then they will hit their sales goals. Those are exactly the non niche platforms CDJR needs. FWD/AWD compact and midsize cars and SUVs are 60% of the US market.

1.4 Dart was all about compliance with the terms of the deal to buy Chrysler. Economy cars in the US shouldn't run on premium, that defeats the purpose.
 

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There's no suggestion of compact cars being built on Giorgio, unless there's an Alfa 2+2 coupé somewhere in the plans (I'm fairly sure there isn't at this point).

Front-drive compact to midsized vehicles could go two ways, because there are two suitable designs: EMP or the next, larger generation of the existing FCA Small-Wide design. Don't be fooled by the names - both offer comparable size spans: the current Small Wide has already been used at longer wheelbases than EMP, but the PSA platform has a produced cars at a wider width (by 56 mm, a little over 2 inches).

A lot depends on what the next generation Jeep Cherokee, KM, ends up using: if that model shifts to Giorgio as a kind of "Jeep Stelvio", then EMP is possible for use in mainstream cars; if KM goes to Small-Wide+, then that same platform is more likely to be used instead. Small-Wide has the advantages of better packaging than EMP, and has US FMVSS compliance already built in, plus a manufacturing site already building it at Toluca; against that, EMP is believed to be cheaper to build, and it currently has an EV option that is yet to be seen on the next Small-Wide (but is very likely).

There's also the possibility of a mix: cars built in Europe on EMP and exported to the USA under the Dodge/Chrysler brands, plus cars built on "Small-Wide Next" in USA, Mexico or Europe (Italy, Serbia) and sold as part of the same model range. Regardless, engines and transmissions would be common regardless of platform, and would come from the FCA side of the house.

As for PSA's newer CMP architecture, that tops out at small compact cars, and as such isn't really of interest for the US market.
 

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Lexus ES is midsize, I didn't suggest a compact Giorgio, in either Alfa or Dodge Barracuda form, although both have been discussed here.

GM-Fiat Small-Wide (FCA ceases to exist in a few months) goes up to the 3,105 mm (122.2 in) wheelbase Doblo, EMP2 goes up to the 3,275 mm (128.9 in) Expert, longer than GM-Fiat Small Wide.

GM-Fiat Small-Wide is obsolete and overweight, all further development should cease, it is not suitable for future cars in the US.

EMP1/CMP is used on the 2,670 mm (105.1 in) wheelbase 1,834 mm (72.2 in) wide C4 III. If you think that size isn't appropriate for the US you are completely out of touch with the US market. The best selling SUV in the US is the RAV4 2,690 mm (105.9 in) wheelbase 1,855 mm (73.0 in) wide.
 

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@David S

Giulia and Stelvio failed because they are badly styled and are RWD? What a nonsense.

For other part. Part about PSA platforms. Technically. At the platform level like packaging they are not good. That's valid for both CMP and EMP2. In addition to this CMP is locked in as FWD only platform while EMP2 doesn't offer mechanical AWD. Their passive safety results on EuroNCAP are also not brilliant. AFAIK CMP based cars are at the bottom end of newly engineered B segment cars.

Other part of technical drawback for PSA. It seems that they've already forfeit from ICE development and also infotainment development. They'll adopt FCA's technology like GSE and GME engines and Android Automotive OS based infotainment.

GM-Fiat Small Wide? WTF?


@KrisW

We do not know cost structure for each platform. Maybe EMP2 is not cheaper because of its design. Maybe it's because of economy of scale in EMEA region.
But for sure PSA doesn't invest as much as FCA in its factories: Compacting Market: Chrysler Needs a Small Crossover

CMP? Uh. It has Chinese IP. IMO it's something which is not desirable. PSA is not the only company which owns IP for it.
 

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Lexus ES is midsize, I didn't suggest a compact Giorgio, in either Alfa or Dodge Barracuda form, although both have been discussed here.
My mistake.

GM-Fiat Small-Wide (FCA ceases to exist in a few months) goes up to the 3,105 mm (122.2 in) wheelbase Doblo, EMP2 goes up to the 3,275 mm (128.9 in) Expert, longer than GM-Fiat Small Wide.
You're taking a lot of effort to repeat "GM-Fiat". It's not correct, and it makes it sound like you're trying to paint it as bad by association with GM. Small-Wide is an FCA platform. No other car maker owns any part of it, GM's last input to its predecessor was in 2004.

In any case, I was talking about the next iteration of Small-Wide being the alternative for EMP, not the current one. That architecture is already in development for the Alfa Romeo Tonale, is bigger than the current one, and will support larger vehicles.

Small-Wide is obsolete and overweight, all further development should cease, it is not suitable for future cars in the US.
Why do you think it's obsolete? It just got a PHEV 4x4 option a couple of months ago. On weight are you comparing other people's road-car applications with Jeep's off-road ones?

EMP1/CMP is used on the 2,670 mm (105.1 in) wheelbase 1,834 mm (72.2 in) wide C4 III. If you think that size isn't appropriate for the US you are completely out of touch with the US market. The best selling SUV in the US is the RAV4 2,690 mm (105.9 in) wheelbase 1,855 mm (73.0 in) wide.
That C4 is at the big end of what CMP can support, yet it's at the small end of the US car market. Also, there's more to a platform than wheelbase and track: compare the kind of engines in C4 with those in RAV4. CMP cannot accommodate large engines.
 

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My mistake.


You're taking a lot of effort to repeat "GM-Fiat". It's not correct, and it makes it sound like you're trying to paint it as bad by association with GM. Small-Wide is an FCA platform. No other car maker owns any part of it, GM's last input to its predecessor was in 2004.

In any case, I was talking about the next iteration of Small-Wide being the alternative for EMP, not the current one. That architecture is already in development for the Alfa Romeo Tonale, is bigger than the current one, and will support larger vehicles.


Why do you think it's obsolete? It just got a PHEV 4x4 option a couple of months ago. On weight are you comparing other people's road-car applications with Jeep's off-road ones?


That C4 is at the big end of what CMP can support, yet it's at the small end of the US car market. Also, there's more to a platform than wheelbase and track: compare the kind of engines in C4 with those in RAV4. CMP cannot accommodate large engines.
EMP1/CMP comes with a 1.5T 4 cylinder Diesel engine. Many of the top selling vehicles in the US use 1.5T gasoline engines: CR-V, Civic, Equinox, Accord, Escape. A 1.5T version of the GSE could cover all applications up to 200+ HP, which is the vast majority of compact cars and SUVs.

The GM-Fiat SCCS platform was all sub 2 liter motors before it got the Chrysler 2.4 and ZF 9 speed in the small wide versions. I expect both PSA platforms will get similar changes to fit the Fiat 1.5T, 2.0T and whatever transmission they decide upon that works with both.

Any federalized SCCS small wide platform is too heavy:
Promaster City 3509 lb, Nissan NV200 3280 lb
Fiat 500X (AWD) 3305 lb, Hyundai Kona AWD 3085 lb
Fiat 500L 3254 lb, Kia Soul 2844 lb
Compass FWD 3184 lb, Outlander Sport 3120 lb, Subaru Crosstrek (AWD) 3117 lb
Renegade FWD 3056 lb, Hyundai Kona FWD 2890 lb
 

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GM-Fiat may have been true for SCSS, historically, but Small-wide née SUSW is a relatively new iteration of the old SCSS and as they said, it's been updated again for the Tonale.

I'm open to any explanations for Giuilia/Stelvio's poor sales.
Yes, they keep trying to make a silk purse out of the GM-Fiat SCCS sow's ear, but it always winds up too heavy.

Promaster City 3509 lb, Nissan NV200 3280 lb
Fiat 500X (AWD) 3305 lb, Hyundai Kona AWD 3085 lb
Fiat 500L 3254 lb, Kia Soul 2844 lb
Compass FWD 3184 lb, Outlander Sport 3120 lb, Subaru Crosstrek (AWD) 3117 lb
Renegade FWD 3056 lb, Hyundai Kona FWD 2890 lb

In addition to price, styling and drive wheels you have the Alfa dealer network and distribution in the US (not part of the problem in Europe), and the tweener small midsize size (112 cu ft). But most importantly you have Alfa itself:

Best selling Alfas of all time
1 Alfasud FWD 1.2-1.5 l economy car, up to 105 HP (see Dodge Omni)
2 Alfa 33 FWD 1.2-1.7 l economy car, up to 117 HP (see FWD Dodge Charger)
3 Alfa 156 FWD 1.6-3.2 l near luxury compact, up to 250 HP (see Dodge Lancer/Spirit)
4 Alfa 147 FWD 1.6-3.2 l short wheelbase hatchback version of 156 (see Dodge Shadow)
5 1962 Alfa Giulia RWD 1.3-1.6 l economy car, up to 110 HP (see Dodge Colt/Arrow)
goodcarbadcar net/best-selling-alfa-romeos-of-all-time/


With that kind of a last 50 years you just don't command BMW and Mercedes prices. A $40K RWD 2.0T just doesn't work for the brand, it is especially bad as the base vehicle in the US. A $40K RWD 2.0T wouldn't work for Chrysler or Dodge either. They think Alfa is BMW level, it is just an Italian Dodge to most people in the world.
 

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Alfa Giulia Mk1, Sud and 33 were not "economy cars". Not then, not now.

@Dave Z Alfa sales per dealership aren't as bad as the overall sales would suggest, as the number of dealerships is fairly small. The question is whether those volumes would improve with more outlets, and to be honest I'm not sure they would in the short term. It is hard to understand why things aren't better: The products are objectively very good, the press love them, the customers love them (the next JDPower IQS is expected to have very good news for FCA and Alfa Romeo particularly) - I guess it's just hard to break down the "just get a German car" herd mentality. Doing that will take patience, something with FCA has never shown much evidence of having...
 

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@KrisW

You are arguing with former Allpar Disqus poster. One of the more moderate. Just imagine who would be to argue some which are more extreme. LOL

Unfortunately people are stretching what's subject of opinion and what should be a fact.


@Dave Z

Many people have discussed about what could improve Alfa sales and it's not US exclusive. There is more than one thing but they must be combined together. More dealerships which or better geographical coverage, more car models because just 2 is not working and can not work, better dealership experience.

For example in Europe many people do not consider Alfa because the lack if investment. They need to churn much more new models and much quicker. People feel insecure about brand's future. I've heard this concern numerous times as reason for discarding Alfa from their shopping list.
 

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@Dave Z

Many people have discussed about what could improve Alfa sales and it's not US exclusive. There is more than one thing but they must be combined together. More dealerships which or better geographical coverage, more car models because just 2 is not working and can not work, better dealership experience.

For example in Europe many people do not consider Alfa because the lack if investment. They need to churn much more new models and much quicker. People feel insecure about brand's future. I've heard this concern numerous times as reason for discarding Alfa from their shopping list.
What is interesting there is that FCA has people who know how to churn out competitive cars quickly. They have to restructure and go back to relatively small, highly empowered cross-platform work teams. That's how you regenerate your products quickly. Then return to the current structure for a while to maintain them and make sure expertise in individual fields is developed. Then go back to the work teams where everyone gets together and cross-fertilizes. It worked at Chrysler in the 1920s-30s, then 1957-59, then 1990-1998 or so. It worked in other companies, e.g. DataGeneral as recorded in The Soul of a New Machine.

Marchionne relied far too much on his own (admittedly valid) strengths and changed direction too often for Alfa to do what it needed to do.

I do think you overrate Alfa Romeo's reputation in North America. It really doesn't have one among the general public, or at least not a good one. We all know people who got Alfas and loved them, but most of those people couldn't keep them running for more than a week or so before another month in the repair shop. Like Fiat, Alfa Romeo suffers from the extremely low quality they had when they left the country, and their inability to function on our roads for any length of time. What's more, BMW and Mercedes took many years to take hold as luxury cars, and that can't be overtaken in five years. Maserati already has an excellent reputation; to me, it would have made more sense to capitalize on that fully before reviving another brand.
 

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@Dave Z

I wonder about what are you talking. I don't see quality issues with Fiats or Alfas. Not much objective issues. But then it seems that for most quality is subjective. In that case engineers or technicians couldn't do much if anything.
Just ask @KrisW about Alfa Romeo quality. He talked about it many times.

For part of Marchionne. First of all don't be offended know backstory much more than you. His goal since very beginning of his tenure at what was Fiat Group was to pair Alfa Romeo and Maserati. Of course with small offerings from Alfa staying on FWD platform and more Fiat engineering input. Some of "his" projects were cancelled at the time of acquisition of Chrysler like all new V6 engine family. But his wishes finally came to fruition with rise of Giorgio project which was not just platform development but also a joint Alfa-Maserati R&D.
 

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@Dave Z

I wonder about what are you talking. I don't see quality issues with Fiats or Alfas. Not much objective issues. But then it seems that for most quality is subjective. In that case engineers or technicians couldn't do much if anything.
Just ask @KrisW about Alfa Romeo quality. He talked about it many times.

For part of Marchionne. First of all don't be offended know backstory much more than you. His goal since very beginning of his tenure at what was Fiat Group was to pair Alfa Romeo and Maserati. Of course with small offerings from Alfa staying on FWD platform and more Fiat engineering input. Some of "his" projects were cancelled at the time of acquisition of Chrysler like all new V6 engine family. But his wishes finally came to fruition with rise of Giorgio project which was not just platform development but also a joint Alfa-Maserati R&D.
Yeah, there you show exactly what the problem is. Nobody at FCA knew or apparently knows what most Americans see with Alfa and Fiat. The way you attack subjective quality issues has been described by Aldo numerous times here. One way is not to allow customers to get crappy cars that fail early, another is to provide excellent service which quickly resolves the problem even if you're out of warranty. Certainly, you don't let journalists touch a car until it's been thoroughly vetted. Early Alfa and Fiat glitches pretty much hit Americans' confirmation bias. (I really have to add that in Europe, your Fiats might be great, but in the US, they're at the bottom of the quality scales, when they can get onto them at all, given poor sales - and that applies to the Mexican built 500 and the Italian built 500X alike. I don't think 500L ever made enough sales to get onto a chart.)

As for joining Alfa and Maserati, like AMC, a good long term plan if not rushed. He rushed it.
 

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Yeah, there you show exactly what the problem is. Nobody at FCA knew or apparently knows what most Americans see with Alfa and Fiat. The way you attack subjective quality issues has been described by Aldo numerous times here. One way is not to allow customers to get crappy cars that fail early, another is to provide excellent service which quickly resolves the problem even if you're out of warranty. Certainly, you don't let journalists touch a car until it's been thoroughly vetted. Early Alfa and Fiat glitches pretty much hit Americans' confirmation bias. (I really have to add that in Europe, your Fiats might be great, but in the US, they're at the bottom of the quality scales, when they can get onto them at all, given poor sales - and that applies to the Mexican built 500 and the Italian built 500X alike. I don't think 500L ever made enough sales to get onto a chart.)

As for joining Alfa and Maserati, like AMC, a good long term plan if not rushed. He rushed it.
When the Italians look at Fiat and Alfa they see Mini and BMW. When Americans look at Fiat and Alfa they see the Yugo and Alfa Spider. Quotes from Sergio proving the European view:

"The creation of a “Fiat 500 family” is not for Europe, but for places like the U.S., where buyers want a 500, not a Fiat. As noted earlier, the brand will become an entire family, e.g. 500L, and “other surprises.” "Before I invest more in Chrysler, I must invest here, to compete with the Germans."

Mercedes and BMW have worked very hard on their brand images for the past 45 years. Alfa can't sell cars that have specs only acceptable for economy cars the US in the '60-'80s, and then FWD near luxury sedans that would fit fine in the Chrysler lineup in the '90s and '00s and expect to be seen as a serious BMW competitor because they come out with one unproven car in the '10s.

Look at what the Japanese did in the '90s and '00s to get Acura, Lexus and Infiniti taken as serious luxury makes. They started with a luxury Sentra, Civic and Camry. The best selling gasoline powered luxury car in the US is a gussied up Toyota Avalon. The best selling Alfas of the last 20 years have been similar FWD cars. Mercedes, BMW and Volvo offer similar FWD cars now, Audi always did.

Alfa, Fiat (Abarth), Lancia, Peugeot, Citroen (DS) and Opel cannot stand on their own in the US. They do not have enough appeal, they can only be a sideline for an another make. Jeep is the most likely partner as a sometimes upscale mass market brand, I don't think Maserati would appreciate the downmarket company. I don't think joining Alfa and Maserati is even a good long term plan. There just isn't the demand for French and Italian cars in the US that Europeans think there is.


For part of Marchionne. First of all don't be offended know backstory much more than you. His goal since very beginning of his tenure at what was Fiat Group was to pair Alfa Romeo and Maserati. Of course with small offerings from Alfa staying on FWD platform and more Fiat engineering input. Some of "his" projects were cancelled at the time of acquisition of Chrysler like all new V6 engine family. But his wishes finally came to fruition with rise of Giorgio project which was not just platform development but also a joint Alfa-Maserati R&D.

According to Sergio in 2012 the plan was to produce Alfas in the US alongside CDJR models: "The relaunch of Alfa in the past failed because they did not have Chrysler’s architectures, platforms, basic engines, and dealers." "Around 70,000 Alfas are expected to be sold in the US per year, coming from Chrysler factories and benefitting both companies. Marchionne said if he felt Alfa was hurting Chrysler, he would not let them sell in the US." He knew what to do with Alfa, but he let his pride get in the way when it couldn't beat BMW.
 

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When the Italians look at Fiat and Alfa they see Mini and BMW. When Americans look at Fiat and Alfa they see the Yugo and Alfa Spider.
Exactly. Fiat was never a good enough seller in the US to overcome its reputation as a pitifully poorly made car. Our lousy roads didn't help. Based on age, most Americans only know Fiat from people who had ten year old ones which needed babying and almost daily repair work to go around the block before breaking an axle or whatever. They were horrifically poorly engineered for U.S. roads though fun when they worked. The same goes for Alfa Romeo. Critics remember "The Graduate" but really, how many people remembered what the car was? People don't even get the car from Get Smart right...

According to Sergio in 2012 the plan was to produce Alfas in the US alongside CDJR models: "The relaunch of Alfa in the past failed because they did not have Chrysler’s architectures, platforms, basic engines, and dealers." "Around 70,000 Alfas are expected to be sold in the US per year, coming from Chrysler factories and benefitting both companies. Marchionne said if he felt Alfa was hurting Chrysler, he would not let them sell in the US." He knew what to do with Alfa, but he let his pride get in the way when it couldn't beat BMW.
That plan made sense but once the new setup was renamed Giorgio, I think the American side knew the end of the original plan had come. Yes, it'll get here with the new Grand Cherokee, but I have to wonder if it will help or hurt. Recreating the Italian stuff to meet the American brands' needs has been more costly and slow than anticipated each and every time - or failed entirely (though some of that was due more to SM's impatience than the product itself. I mean, look at the 200; other than rear seat access, which I think was blown out of proportion, it was a very nice car. When Ford's Contour came out in the US and critics blasted it in comparisons with the new Chrysler Cirrus, Ford addressed the problems and revised the car until critics liked it. Nothing stopped Chrysler from fixing the one problem people had with the 200. Then again, the 200 struck me as an inane car from the start, because it didn't seem any better than the “revised-Sebring” 200 would have been with the new electronics and nine-speed automatic).
 
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