The Pacifica minivan is vital but the 500 family will soon be gone.
Last Friday, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) announced its five-year plan and, as expected, Jeep and Ram will benefit most. But what about the two namesake brands? Neither one is exactly thriving in North America these days. Does either have a future? The answer is yes, but there will be some big changes. FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne’s major series of announcements detailed many things, among them that Chrysler will soon become a North America-only brand while Fiat will soon begin the transition of becoming a Europe-only EV brand.
An all-new 500e is part of that plan. Those previous rumors of Chrysler and/or Fiat being killed off, according to Marchionne, were “nonsense.” As part of FCA’s overall plan, around $10.5 billion will be invested in EVs, of which Fiat will directly benefit. Turning Fiat into an all EV brand is vital for FCA as a whole because of upcoming strict emissions standards. As for Chrysler’s future, the Pacifica minivan will remain vital. Waymo has announced it'll be ordering an additional 60,000 Pacificas that will be used for the continued development of mobility solutions and autonomous driving. This FCA-Waymo partnership is a direct rival to Uber’s self-driving operations.
Sometime before 2022, a new Chrysler model, most likely an MPV or an SUV, will debut. As for the future of the 300 sedan, well, that remains up in the air. Will it benefit from the same platform upgrades planned for its Dodge Charger (and Challenger) cousin? It won’t be that long until we find out. And no, there's absolutely no chance of a 200 sedan revival.