Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is reportedly considering re-entering the small-car market in the United States after the discontinuation of the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200, weighing whether or not to import the European Fiat Tipo compact car as the “Chrysler Neon”.
That’s right: the Dodge/Plymouth Neon could return to the US market, only branded as a Chrysler.
The Fiat Tipo is already sold in Mexico and the Middle East under the “Dodge Neon” moniker, so imagining it making its way to the US as the Chrysler Neon isn’t too much of a stretch. It’s based on the GM Fiat Small Wide LWB (“Long-Wheelbase”) platform, the same as the Fiat 500L. According to Automotive News, FCA has “studied” the prospect of importing it into the United States, but no decision has been announced.
Granted, FCA might have some difficulty putting together a viable business case for the Chrysler Neon; new vehicle sales are trending downward in the market, and sales of cars in particular are hurting industry-wide as more and more buyers flock to crossovers and SUVs. It was that latter fact, more than any particular shortcomings the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 might have had, that precipitated their discontinuation.
Perhaps we’ll learn more when CEO Sergio Marchionne reveals a detailed five-year plan in the first quarter of 2018.