So earlier this week, in between taking care of my newborn and watching something on TV, I had another epiphany. The thought was sparked by FCA wanting to still merge with GM, after failed negotiation and how FCA is running the company. I actually like how FCA is taking a different approach than last owners of the Chrysler group of vehicles. In my opinion, out of all of the American automakers, FCA has the proper tooling, to dominate, not only the American market, but a worldwide market. Don’t agree? Keep reading. If you read the post and still don’t agree, leave a reply.
Let’s add one more thing before I begin. A FCA/GM merger wouldn’t be the greatest move. Although, the money would be enormous, the merger would fail…eventually. I mean, all a merger would do is cause too many companies, under the same name, competing against each other. What happens when you compete against yourself? You become a GM before the 2008 recession. What was GM before the recession? Badge engineering kings. Enough of my side note.
FCA has this five year plan which includes all of its automakers. Alfa Romeo is going to be FCAs premium brand, Chrysler- the mainstream brand, Dodge- the performance brand, Maserati- the ultra luxury brand, Fiat- the mainstream brand, outside of North America, with Jeep, Ram, and Ferrari filling in their respective markets. That all sounds good but it something I can’t fully agree with.
For one why is Alfa Romeo set to be the premium brand and Chrysler the mainstream brand? In my opinion, Alfa Romeo is more of a niche automaker, and Chrysler should be built as the premium/performance brands. Alfa Romeo does have some nice vehicles, don’t get me wrong, but I can’t see it being a premium marquee to fight BMW, Audi and Mercedes. Maybe, if Alfa had an image that was less about sports cars, maybe then it could work.
Maybe FCA has more in store for Alfa that we don’t know about. I just think that further developments to the 200, 300, Town and Country bringing us something like an Aspen replacement, and a couple of new models (named 100 and a sports car or GT based off of the Viper), would make Chrysler the German Fighter FCA needs. Dodge should be the mainstream brand but I can understand Dodge being more performance oriented. The Challenger, Charger and Viper are Dodge’s premium performance models, which makes it perfect to be performance brand.
So back the original statement, of FCA becoming a world dominating brand. In my honest, FCA has the best plan. Although, the SRT brand is being pushed to the Dodge brand, FCA is making the necessary moves. They are getting rid of the unnecessary vehicles or should I say, slowing selling vehicles. While the Durango is getting the axe, temporarily, nameplates like the Barracuda are returning and the overall structure of FCA seems to be the best for the situation.
FCA is also adding in the nameplates that are needed. The Grand Wagoneer, Dart SRT, Levante (Maserati’s SUV), Alfieri, a new Ferrari for the next four years, and filling in the necessary gaps in each automaker. Let’s also add to that, the brands that FCA owns, already have an established fan base. That eliminates having to find a new fan base. The funny part is, FCA has the best of each segment of the market. Ferrari, Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Maserati come form overseas and the hometown favorites Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram.
All in all, FCA has the best tools to become the dominant world power automaker. It really wouldn’t surprise me if, FCA grows to be as big as the VW group. As long as they stick to the planning in this five year plan, the chances of reaching the full potential become greater.