Chrysler has bucked industry fears that it would be axed amid FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne’s momentous mid-term plan, and will continue as a brand focused upon mobility, and the vessel for Fiat Chrysler’s autonomous development with self-driving brand Waymo.
FCA today confirmed that a further 62,000 Chrysler Pacificas will be used for its partnership with Waymo, as the Alphabet-owned brand gears up to launch its Uber-rivalling ride-hailing app by the end of the year.
Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne clarified Chrysler’s place in the industry at today’s mid-term plan presentation to investors, saying: “Dodge needs to continue the particular space as a performance brand, and we need to continue to build on that core skill. The minivan business space will be filled by Chrysler, filling the mobility solution in the US market.
“Those two brands are not in question but they’re local NAFTA brands, and need to be developed for local market conditions. Our view is that 70% of the US market is already non-sedan, so to try and build traditional sedans is not helpful. Brands like Dodge can play a role there because of their performance heritage."
Chrysler today is made up of only the 300 and Pacifica, although during today’s presentations it was revealed that another model line would be introduced, likely an MPV or SUV given the move away from the saloon market. It was also announced that talks are under way to negotiate the sale of Waymo driverless tech-equipped Chrysler Pacificas to the public.
The brand’s increasing involvement with the Waymo ride-sharing service aligns it more with up and coming ride-sharing services like Volkswagen’s Moia brand, as well as Geely’s sharing-friendly Lynk&Co brand.