Radical future plans revealed by Fiat; detailed model plans for Alfa, Dodge, Chrysler + Jeep

Fiat Auto boss Sergio Marchionne today unveiled a remarkably detailed plan that will see Fiat and Chrysler combine forces to produce six million new vehicles a year by 2014. Marchionne says this figure is the “minimum” required to for the new car company to survive and prosper.

The new Fiat Group Automobiles (FGA) will see Jeep positioned as a global brand and Chrysler’s presence in Europe will be as sister brand to Lancia. The only Dodge products to be sold outside North America will be high performance models such as the Challenger. Alfa Romeo will be launched into North America, complimenting Maserati.

FGA will remain part of the parent company Fiat SpA, while the truck and tractor making divisions will be spun of into a new company called Fiat Industrial SpA.

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Fiat’s own product plan aims to boost production from today’s level of 1.6 million vehicles annually to some 2.2 million units by 2014. Alfa Romeo will provide as many as 500,000 units and Lancia/Chrysler 300,000 units.

Fiat’s product blitz will kick off in 2011 with the new Panda (and Panda van) and a new SUV based on the Dodge Journey. In 2012, Fiat will get a new entry-level supermini (expected to be the Brazilian-made Uno), a new compact MPV (including both five- and seven-seat variants) and a new Jetta-size saloon.

In 2013 Fiat will launch an all-new city car to replace the ageing Seicento, a replacement for the Punto Evo and a replacement for the Bravo hatch and estate. The Bravo-replacing models will be based on the same ‘Compact’ platform that underpins the Alfa Giulietta.

Under the combined Chrysler/Lancia product plan, there will be a new five-door replacement for the Ypsilon supermini and a new Grand Voyager MPV in 2011. 2012 sees a Golf-sized saloon, hatch and estate, all based on the Compact platform. The Bravo-based Lancia Delta lives until the end of 2013.

In 2013 the two brands will also get a large, luxury SUV and Chrysler will launch a Ford Mondeo rival, though it will aimed mainly at the North American market.

As a result of Fiat Auto’s rationalisation plans, a number of current models will be axed at the end of this year, including the Croma hatch, the Ulysse and Multipla MPVs.

Jeep will get the new Grand Cherokee this year and will see major facelifts for the Wrangler, Patriot and Compass in 2011. A new Golf-sized SUV arrives in 2013, as does the new Cherokee.

Half of Fiat Auto’s planned sales of six million vehicles will be based on one three new global ‘architectures’. Dubbed ‘Mini’, ‘Small’ and ‘Compact’ they will cover everything from the Panda to the replacement for the Alfa 159. Fiat expects each platform to underpin a total of one million vehicles per year.

Fiat expects to build around seven individual models on each architecture, up from around two models on today’s platforms. It also expects to make significant savings by using more common sub-assemblies. For example, by 2014 the group will use just four types of heating and ventilation units to cover all its models from the Panda to Maserati models.

Fiat’s Powertrain division is also promising new engine and transmission technology including new versions of the MultiAir combustion technology that will also be used on diesel engines. A new compact twin-clutch transmission is on the way, too. Fiat says that when this ‘box is combined with the new TwinAir two-cylinder petrol engine, the result is CO2 emissions of just 80g/km.

However, Fiat Auto boss Sergio Marchionne hinted at a showdown with Italian unions over the critical under-utilisation of the majority of the company’s Italian factories, although none of them are under threat of closure. By contrast, Fiat’s facilities in Tychy, Serbia and Turkey are much more efficient.

2014 is scheduled to see the new Fiat Group Auto division sell a total of 2.15 million vehicles in Europe, including 350,000 Alfas, 295,000 Chrysler/Lancias and 125,000 Jeeps. Plans for North America are more modest with 20,000 Fiat-badged cars and 85,000 Alfas, including the new Spider.

Hilton Holloway

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Comments
8

21 April 2010

I really hope it all works out, but anyone else have a small nagging doubt that it will?

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10 years of Smart ownership over, sensible car mode activated

21 April 2010

As ever, the nagging doubt comes in when you add up all the manufacturers' forecasts and put it against a stagnant/declining market.

There was an article in Autocar 2 or 3 years ago showing that European car factories were working at two thirds capacity - and that was at the height of the boom. Currently it's probably nearer 50%. The implication is 1 in 3 or 1 in 2 manufacturers is redundant. There has been some thinning out but not in those sort of proportions

21 April 2010

If it means that the Dodge Challenger will be coming to the UK then this is the best piece of automotive news for a while. I think I am going to open up a savings account...........

It cant happen soon enough.

22 April 2010

He talks a pretty good talk, though a lot of people on both sides of the Atlantic can't see the Chrysler group continuing to exist and think it could drag down Fiat who weren't exactly in the rudest of healths. That being said their plans for Alfa seem to be the best that's been released in the last 30 years, each time they "reinvent" there are medicore products - with multiair and proper platform sharing they could be on to a winner, their reliability having improved as well. A lot of the Chrysler group cars being updated are not bad, well they are, but only in their final execution. There is nothing wrong with some of the platforms and ideas - a boost with efficient engine technology, improved quality control and a proper FWD platform could do wonders for them. My only concern would be that Fiat/Chrysler would shy away from introducing engines like the "Twin-air" in the 500 due to be sold in N.A because of the worry that Americans will shy away from a 2 cylinder engine (read: "I ain't driving no Jesus hating two cylinder import crap, mah mom and mah gun won't both fit anyways) and to be competitive on price they'll just drop in the 1.4 4 cylinder. I've considered Jeep, Dodgy and Chrysler products on two occasions this year - each time they just didn't make sense - the fuel economy, performance and especially the interior quality were all well of the place (terrible residuals as well). I think they could do with a Sedeci/SX4 type 4x4 (even the Panda 4x4?) at the bottom of the range, drop the Compass (horrible piece of whatsit), rename and massively overhaul the Patriot (a diesel would be nice, but pigs may fly while smoking pot, discussing Marxist literature and cracking witty jokes), give the "Liberty" a proper auto and a manual option and drop the price on the Wrangler.

22 April 2010

[quote theonlydt]He talks a pretty good talk, though a lot of people on both sides of the Atlantic can't see the Chrysler group continuing to exist and think it could drag down Fiat who weren't exactly in the rudest of healths.[/quote]

I dont really think that is the case. I think Chrysler will help secure Fiats Future by providing alot of larger car architecture for many of the Alfa romeos which they simply wouldnt have been able to afford without Chrysler.

Conversely Fiat are helping to secure Chryslers Future by providing smaller cars, more efficient engines and better access to the european market.

I think of all the manufacturer merges, this is one of the best as both gain so much from the other whilst very little overlaps. And looking through their plans, they seem to have some pretty exciting vehicles lined up.

22 April 2010

[quote superstevie]I really hope it all works out, but anyone else have a small nagging doubt that it will?[/quote]

The only way this will work is if Americans still believe their cars are American and not rebadged Fiats. Likewise any new Alfa needs to hide any common Chrysler parts as most of us think they are just as bad. This has the potential to be very good or very bad with the middle ground being very unlikely.

22 April 2010

I generally enjoy the witty debate in these pages but I feel a rant coming on: I saw what Chrysler very nearly did to Daimler Benz. In my opinion, Fiat Group & Chrysler are responsible for so many crimes against the consumer that they deserve each other. In fact, the word will probably be a better place without them, as long as they float Ferrari.No hoper plus no hoper = no hoper. Thank you, please continue the more rational discussion.

22 April 2010

However, Fiat Auto boss Sergio Marchionne hinted at a showdown with Italian unions

that's what worries me. if anyone is going to bring something down, it'll be the good old unions up to their usual tricks.

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