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I think FCA missed the opportunity to build something comparable to the Maverick in Belvidere.
 
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1974 Plymouth Valiant - 2013 Dodge Dart - 2013 Chrysler 300C
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They still can.

I am pretty amazed at how many market segments FCA just ignored. They had flexible manufacturing technology and chose to keep it on the shelf, unless you could make a two-door coupe and an upscale version of the Charger in the same plant. Maserati of course did have a big, small, and SUV version of the same vehicle in one plant, but we never saw the crossover minivan variant, the LWB Chrysler version of Cherokee, the Portal, ... they even could have made 200, Dart, and Cherokee together in one plant, making small numbers of the sedans but staying profitable by prioritizing Cherokees. What's the point of having them share so much when each one requires its own plant?

And then there's the Mexican Dart that could have been converted to USA duty, the Fiat light pickup, and so on... all these vehicles that were apparently too risky, leading Chrysler to bankroll Tesla's global growth. I used to think Sergio was a genius, but like Lee Iacocca, his genius was apparently only good for two years.
 

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They still can.

I am pretty amazed at how many market segments FCA just ignored. They had flexible manufacturing technology and chose to keep it on the shelf, unless you could make a two-door coupe and an upscale version of the Charger in the same plant. Maserati of course did have a big, small, and SUV version of the same vehicle in one plant, but we never saw the crossover minivan variant, the LWB Chrysler version of Cherokee, the Portal, ... they even could have made 200, Dart, and Cherokee together in one plant, making small numbers of the sedans but staying profitable by prioritizing Cherokees. What's the point of having them share so much when each one requires its own plant?

And then there's the Mexican Dart that could have been converted to USA duty, the Fiat light pickup, and so on... all these vehicles that were apparently too risky, leading Chrysler to bankroll Tesla's global growth. I used to think Sergio was a genius, but like Lee Iacocca, his genius was apparently only good for two years.
Not just the markets that were ignored (mid-size pickup), but the lack of product updates and the lack of investment into powertrains and electrification.

Now Stellantis is playing catch-up in all these areas.

While plants received upgrades, other manufacturers updated plants, brought new product to market and refreshed existing product in 2-3 year cycles.

Makes one wonder where all those thick margins and "record profits" really went......
 

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1974 Plymouth Valiant - 2013 Dodge Dart - 2013 Chrysler 300C
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37,742 Posts
Not just the markets that were ignored (mid-size pickup), but the lack of product updates and the lack of investment into powertrains and electrification.

Now Stellantis is playing catch-up in all these areas.

While plants received upgrades, other manufacturers updated plants, brought new product to market and refreshed existing product in 2-3 year cycles.
Can't argue. It was a great few years when we got the Cherokee, 200, Dart, ProMaster, and major upgrades to minivans, trucks, etc. But then it all went dark—admittedly we got new Alfa Romeos.

I did notice that nearly everything that was completely new seemed to flop. The revised 200/Avengers did pretty well. The brand new 200s didn't do any better. Cherokee went like gangbusters at first but then fell. Dart was never well received. ProMaster was a great van but they didn't do enough Q/C and it never came anywhere near half of Ford Transit. Pacifica got great reviews but the name change was ill advised; was it the most successful of the new Fiat-based product?

Makes one wonder where all those thick margins and "record profits" really went......
Debt repayment. That was never a secret.
 
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