Today, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ new five-year business strategy presentation went off with hardly any mention of the Chrysler brand, which many feared could be on the chopping block. Even as the automaker discussed a monumental $10.5 billion in future investments into electrification and numerous new models from the likes of Ram, Jeep, Alfa Romeo, and Maserati, nary a word was said about what lies ahead for Chrysler (nor Dodge).
Yet the Chrysler brand’s future is safe for now, even if it won’t take on such a central role in FCA’s future plans, Blackburn News reports. CEO Sergio Marchionne said he “noticed that some people started tweeting nonsense about the fact that the agenda didn’t have Fiat or Chrysler identified as being topics of the presentations,” ultimately assuaging concerns by saying: “I think Chrysler will continue to be relevant in the United States.”
That said, no one should expect the Chrysler brand to go global. “That’s highly unlikely,” says Marchionne.
Today, Chrysler’s lineup consists of just three models: the 300 sedan, the Pacifica minivan, and the plug-in Pacifica Hybrid. Its footprint in the North American market is far short of where it was projected four years ago to be. Back then, in 2014, Marchionne revealed a plan to grow the Chrysler portfolio to eight products covering 65 percent of the market. The automaker has indicated that one or two new crossover models may be in the works, but there’s been little news on that front for some time.
The future looks grim for the Chrysler 300 sedan, which has seen little investment since its introduction in 2004, and which occupies a segment that’s quickly waning in popularity and importance. However, FCA did announce a deal to supply self-driving car outfit Waymo with an additional 62k Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans over the next three years as that company goes about expanding its autonomous cab service.