Passenger cars are no more.
Lots of big things are happening over at FCA, as CEO Sergio Marchionne has declared that the Dodge Dart and the Chrysler 200 will be discontinued, supposedly after each finishes its production run. But that's not all, because Marchionne said FCA is now going to start shifting its focus from passenger cars to Ram trucks and Jeep SUVs, with just a bit of an eye cast towards electric vehicles. The CEO says this is because of a recent drop in gas prices. Apparently when gas goes down it's a green light to buy cars that do crappy on gas.
With the price of oil as low as it is now, customers have decided to purchase more gas-hungry vehicles like Jeeps and Ram pickup trucks. Therefore, the demand has gone up. To compensate for this, Marchionne said that FCA would be moving manufacturing of the Jeep and Ram pickups to the same plants that currently house the Dart and 200. The astounding part of this news is what they are giving up on, after throwing $1 billion or so at manufacturing the Chrysler 200 for its launch in 2014. In the meantime the Dart is sitting on an investment of around $600 million. (The Dart was only launched in 2012!) Marchionne now has a goal of pulling these cars off of the market after a few short years, and is aiming to sell two million Jeeps per year.
Last year 1.2 million were sold. A hybrid-electric Jeep Wrangler is said to be coming in 2018, so that should mean more money. Also, there may be plans for a hybrid Ram truck. If this news about the Dart and 200 upsets you keep your head up because at the moment it's a temporary discontinuation. Marchionne says that its possible they will talk to other manufacturers to take up the mantle of continuing the two models.