How is Chrysler supposed to survive if it only sells a minivan?
Despite sitting third place in the muscle car sales wars, FCA isn’t in any hurry to modernize the Dodge Challenger. Ditto for the Charger and Chrysler 300. Two sources have told Automotive News that the three cars, which all share a single platform, won’t be moved onto the Alfa Romeo Giorgio platform until 2020. What’s more is that the 300 might not even make the move as it could see the executioner’s ax. Since a full redesign isn’t on offer until 2020 the trio of cars will be refreshed for 2018.
According to Automotive News, the 300 could be killed due to FCA’s desire to stop selling the same vehicle under different badges. While this makes sense, Chrysler would be royally screwed if its massive sedan were to be eliminated. The 200 is knocking on death’s door, and when it goes the 300 and Pacifica will be its only models. If the 300 also dies that would leave the iconic American marque with just a minivan in its lineup. What does FCA do then? Is there even a niche for Chrysler to carve out? Jeep has the SUV and crossover segment on lock while Dodge is all about performance. Alfa Romeo has the whole foreign luxury thing going on and Fiat is the entry-level foreign nameplate.
Would Chrysler become the American luxury offering a la GM’s Cadillac or Ford’s Lincoln? If so, what cars would it even sell? We could sit here and speculate about the future of Chrysler all day, but it’s a lot more fun to talk about muscle cars, so let’s do that. If the two Dodges really have to wait until 2020 to get a new platform that may not be the end of the world. Both cars have carved out a niche as the old school enthusiast’s choice. A new platform would significantly cut weight, making both cars nimbler and improving gas mileage, but would buyers even care? If Hellcat sales are any indication then all Dodge buyers want are burly V8s that go really fast in a straight line. Both cars are doing OK in terms of sales this year, so why hurry?
While a delayed update wouldn't kill the Charger or Challenger axing the 300, which is actually doing 7% more sales on the year than at this time in 2015, could be the first sign that Chrysler is on the way out. We can't think of any automaker that just sells one model, save for Bugatti. Fun fact: Chrysler is no Bugatti.