FCA Needs Some Help Replacing Its Discontinued FWD Models

Industry News

We think we have the perfect answer to FCA's search.

Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne is currently looking for a strategic partner to help replace the company's FWD models. Earlier this year, FCA discontinued the slow-selling Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200, which were based on the same platform. Marchionne says that he is looking "for a cost-effective solution" and the company is also focused on preserving the uniqueness of its RWD models. The whole company could be forced to shift away from passenger cars, to the more profitable truck and SUV sectors.

Marchinonne emphasized that the shift from passenger cars was "a structural change" that could be permanent and that "we've adapted our industrial footprint to reflect what we consider to be a permanent change and I think we need to rely on the economies of scale and capital deployed and invested by others to give us the desired objective." He went on to say that "Our search for a front-wheel- drive passenger-car solution to deal with very much of an American problem has got limited impact on our ambitions." Clearly FCA is more concerned with improving its RWD drive offerings, which is not bad news at all for enthusiasts. The Alfa Romeo Giulia's Giorgio platform could underpin many new FCA models.

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We don't necessarily think that FCA needs to give up completely on building FWD models. Although, we do see that all of the volume FCA brands except for Jeep seem to be struggling with their lineups. One suggestion that we had was to work with a company that has already been a strategic partner in the past, Mazda. The partnership with Mazda to build the Fiat 124 has been a large success, with the 124 nearly outselling its MX-5 cousin in its first year. Mazda already builds sporty FWD sedans, the Mazda 3, and Mazda 6. If Fiat built its own versions of either of these cars, we could finally get the turbocharged models that Mazda has refused to build. No need to thank us Sergio, we'll just take our commission check for our consulting!

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