The Fiat-controlled Chrysler Group says it will propel itself back into profit with a massive product blitz over the next five years.
The plans were revealed over a marathon six-hour press conference in Detroit, where Chrysler bosses detailed how the company intends to relaunch and rebrand Jeep, Dodge and Chrysler, boosting global sales from this year’s low of 1.3m to 2.8m in 2014.
Chrysler says that by 2014 half of its models will be based on Fiat Group platforms and many of its engines will use Fiat Multiair variable valve technology, including Chrysler’s new Pentastar V6 powerplant.
Fiat will become the leader in small petrol and diesel engines and Chrysler the leader for large engine, hybrids and electric cars.
In four years’ time, the combined Chrysler/Fiat Group should be producing a combined total of over five million vehicles per year, a number regarded by boss Sergio Marchionne as the minimum volume required for a single car maker to prosper.
Chrysler says it has already completely re-thought its quality processes in reaction to what it admitted were unacceptable standards over the last few years. The company is also reorganising its manufacturing systems and overhauling its factories.
By 2014, Chrysler Group is predicting that its US market share will have risen to 11 per cent from the six per cent low it suffered in 2009. The company says it will make an operating profit next year and break even in 2011. The money it borrowed from the US state as a result of its bankruptcy will be paid back by 2014, according to financial projections.
Dodge plansThe Dodge brand has been given a new logo and will be repositioned as being "more youthful and more refined", with a "more visceral driving experience" and much-improved quality.