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I hope Ralph is onboard with the changes. Judging from his Instagram posts, he is understandably upset about the death of Sergio Marchionne. He has posted several memorials to him, all of which are excellent. Klaus Busse has done the same. However, none of them have even mentioned Mike Manley. I am assuming this is just due to his preoccupation with the events of the last few days. I hope they are all able to get over this and move ahead.
Now is the time to deal with the shock and pain of losing someone close. It would be disrespectful to both themselves and the one they lost to expect them to turn around and say “the king is dead—long live the king.” I’m sure Manley understands this and I doubt anyone outside of us fanatical followers of everything MOPAR have even noticed.

There will be a time to gather the team around and gently push them forward. MM will get it right.
 

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I'm being an armchair CEO by what I'm about to say. I believe that the Chrysler brand should be used to insulate Jeep. The Chinese Grand Commander won't be playing here because it doesn't fit the Jeep parameters set by FCA. As stated in other threads, the rumored Chrysler vehicle will be more than badge engineering, so it won't be sold as a Jeep here. Chrysler brand vehicles sharing platforms with Jeeps should have a different rear suspension when practical, to increase interior volume and cargo room. The SUSW Fiat Toro and Jeep Compass have different rear suspensions, for example. The Chrysler "people movers" should be allowed to have more overhang as well. If potential buyers can find a more suitable family hauler in the same showroom as a Jeep, it will help both brands. The Jeep model can be less compromised, while the Chrysler one will become more recognized.
 

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If the Grand Commander does not fit the Jeep brand, it should not be sold as a Jeep anywhere in the world.

This is what Norm and others talked about.....exploiting and degrading the Jeep brand's value by offering watered down vehicles that do not reinforce the brand image.

Would Ferrari sell a poor handling/performing vehicle in China because it does not affect Ferrari in its other markets? Of course not. The Ferrari brand has value and you do not exploit it with weak offerings in other markets for the sake of profit. You keep offering products that are true to the brand.
 

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To @Erik Latranyi point, back in the pre-internet dark ages, global differences in vehicles were well insulated from each other. Today, vehicle design is more often heavily used in markets around the world plus there will be information readily available to compare a Jeep in China versus one in the EU or NA. Yes, you can still get away with badge engineering vehicles between regions, but it's usually close to the same king of vehicle associated with the brand. The Chrysler and Lancia badge swap didn't work very well, but they were similar enough brands to allow minimal change between the two. Jeep is/should be too distinct of a vehicle to easily swap badges. The Renegade gets some big improvements over the 500X to stay true (enough) to be a decent Jeep. The Chinese Grand Commander doesn't even try hard to earn the Jeep name. It's really just a Chrysler and I hope it will be a good Chrysler when it's finally released in NA. It should have been released as a Chrysler in China and not as a super soft Jeep. Jeeps global image should mirror it's original NA image because that is what is going to be expected.
 

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The probable demise of the 300 is troubling, but a possibility is to change the nameplate from Chrysler 300 to Dodge Monaco, similar to the move of '76 Imp. to '77 New Yorker. This neatly gives a move up from Charger, with Monaco positioned as the flagship of Dodge. Perhaps put hideaway headlights on the Monaco, reminiscent of those on the '72.

Then Chrysler becomes a sort of GMC, with only SUVs/CUVs, plus minivans. It looks like this is the plan anyway, based on what we've seen so far. Possible lineup: New Yorker (large SUV, also in a "limo" version) -- Town and Country (medium SUV, also produced in a livery/taxi version) -- Atlantic (CUV) -- Pacifica (minivan) -- Portal (electric minivan). Chrysler has historically mainly built big vehicles anyway, so it's not such a defilement to go in this direction.
 

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That's not a bad plan but I don't see another sedan being put above the Charger. I think if someone wants a premium sedan that does not have a macho racer image, they will have to climb up to Maserati or go outside of FCA.
 

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The probable demise of the 300 is troubling, but a possibility is to change the nameplate from Chrysler 300 to Dodge Monaco, similar to the move of '76 Imp. to '77 New Yorker. This neatly gives a move up from Charger, with Monaco positioned as the flagship of Dodge. Perhaps put hideaway headlights on the Monaco, reminiscent of those on the '72.

Then Chrysler becomes a sort of GMC, with only SUVs/CUVs, plus minivans. It looks like this is the plan anyway, based on what we've seen so far. Possible lineup: New Yorker (large SUV, also in a "limo" version) -- Town and Country (medium SUV, also produced in a livery/taxi version) -- Atlantic (CUV) -- Pacifica (minivan) -- Portal (electric minivan). Chrysler has historically mainly built big vehicles anyway, so it's not such a defilement to go in this direction.
 

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That's not a bad plan but I don't see another sedan being put above the Charger. I think if someone wants a premium sedan that does not have a macho racer image, they will have to climb up to Maserati or go outside of FCA.
Avalon is as un-macho as you can get in a large sedan.
 

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The probable demise of the 300 is troubling, but a possibility is to change the nameplate from Chrysler 300 to Dodge Monaco, similar to the move of '76 Imp. to '77 New Yorker. This neatly gives a move up from Charger, with Monaco positioned as the flagship of Dodge. Perhaps put hideaway headlights on the Monaco, reminiscent of those on the '72.

Then Chrysler becomes a sort of GMC, with only SUVs/CUVs, plus minivans. It looks like this is the plan anyway, based on what we've seen so far. Possible lineup: New Yorker (large SUV, also in a "limo" version) -- Town and Country (medium SUV, also produced in a livery/taxi version) -- Atlantic (CUV) -- Pacifica (minivan) -- Portal (electric minivan). Chrysler has historically mainly built big vehicles anyway, so it's not such a defilement to go in this direction.
I love your post...and why? Because I agree with everything you've just said:p

But seriously, this plan / idea makes good use of resourcefulness and an ability to think outside the box.

But the question really is this: How much resourcefulness and out of the box thinking can you remember this management bunch engaging in over the years. I think we both know the answer to that one.
 

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A flagship that is positioned above the Charger...would it have higher performance, or would it be a downgrade in performance and an upgrade in luxury? If it has higher performance, it wouldn't really replace the 300. If it has less performance, but more luxury and a higher price to justify the "flagship" status, it would conflict with the mission of the Dodge brand.

The issue is not that the 300 is a Chrysler, so moving it to the Dodge brand wouldn't solve anything. The issue is that it is a sedan and apparently it is more desirable for full-size sedan buyers to have some sportiness judging from the Charger sales and the Avalon and Maxima redesigns that have gotten much more radical. A plush sedan doesn't really provide any benefits over a crossover. Since the issue is in the type of vehicle, either the 300 needs to become an SUV or its plant capacity needs to be replaced with an SUV.
 

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Why would they discontinue those? Sounds like someone got their wires crossed.
Can one have a high performance brand without high performance cars?
The least FCA will do is just update the current Charger and Challenger, again.
FCA may decide their is no upside to a complete redesign of the Charger and Challenger, as the current sales those cars get are already locked in...the logic being that they're not any more extra buyers to grab with a complete redesign? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 

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Can one have a high performance brand without high performance cars?
The least FCA will do is just update the current Charger and Challenger, again.
FCA may decide their is no upside to a complete redesign of the Charger and Challenger, as the current sales those cars get are already locked in...the logic being that they're not any more extra buyers to grab with a complete redesign? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I think the person who broke news that they will be discontinued is mistaken.
 

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I think the person who broke news that they will be discontinued is mistaken.
I suspect there might be some saber rattling occurring due to the trade and and tariff stuff coming from Washington. FCA can let lose rumors of "We are going to shut down and layoff half our operations because of these trade policies."
 

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I love your post...and why? Because I agree with everything you've just said:p

But seriously, this plan / idea makes good use of resourcefulness and an ability to think outside the box.

But the question really is this: How much resourcefulness and out of the box thinking can you remember this management bunch engaging in over the years. I think we both know the answer to that one.
Aw, shucks, thanks '77. :) No, not much resourcefulness or oob thinking, which could mean some agenda, or just standard corporate folly.
 

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Unless Portal comes out oozing desirability and aspiration, with 300 gone Chrysler won’t have a flagship model any longer. That may very well trigger the final unraveling of the brand.
 

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Portal may be geared more towards the autonomous companies, who want something smaller than Pacifica for markets where a large van is undesirable.

The retail side may be just a side thought.
 

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Portal may be geared more towards the autonomous companies, who want something smaller than Pacifica for markets where a large van is undesirable.

The retail side may be just a side thought.
If FCA is building there future on autonomous cars that most people don’t want, they are headed for trouble. A fresh 300 would remain viable for another 5 years.
 

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If FCA is building there future on autonomous cars that most people don’t want, they are headed for trouble. A fresh 300 would remain viable for another 5 years.
I'm not so sure about that. The future has a nasty habit of taking so many bends in the road that it's difficult to predict what people are going to want or not want.

There have been any number of life-style and culture reports and features mentioning that many Millenials have no urge or desire to own a vehicle of any kind. Suppose this is only the tip of a very big iceberg...not to mention any number of factors and circumstances which will take the automotive industry in directions we haven't even thought of.
 
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