Fiat, part of the Chrysler family of automobiles, has been working hard to increase their share of the automotive market in the United States, but there’s no question that their overall plans have undergone massive changes the past several years. This doesn’t mean things look bleak – in fact part of the reason the company’s 5-year plan is adjusting so much is because of the data they have about how certain vehicles are doing compared to others.
Hello More Jeeps!
The numbers were clear on one thing to Fiat’s executives: in North America at least their Jeeps and Rams were by far and away the best-selling vehicles and the ones that are in highest demand. Because of this, their 5 year plan is shifting production heavily towards more Jeeps, more Dodge Rams, and more of the vehicles that have already found a very positive response from the marketplace.
Not So Good News For Dodge/SRT
The Dodge Grand Caravan and Dodge SRT weren’t so lucky. Between the vehicles currently in demand and the direction Fiat plans on going, these two specific models were given the ax. They are being phased out as other vehicles that are more popular and fit the same niches as those previous models will be produced in the future.
Moving From 8 Platforms To 5
Part of what Fiat is going to emphasis is more quality streamlined into better selection. While originally there were 8 “platforms” or vehicle model types they used, that is being trimmed down to 5. This means a more streamlined selection for the consumer.
Less Luxury, More Practicality?
While luxury is far from dead, especially with the announcement of a new model of the Alfa Romeo coming back in full force, there does seem to be some shift to bringing a touch of luxury to traditionally more practical vehicles and paying attention to market trends.
The announcement of a plug-in hybrid minivan that gets 75 miles to the gallon certainly caught a lot of positive attention and is exactly the type of buzz that this company wants from its newest models of vehicles not only in 2016 but moving forward in their 5 year plan, as well.
What About the Fiat Dealers?
While it’s no question that the smaller Fiats are struggling with sales in the United States, there are some glimmers of hope as the Fiat-Chrysler laid out a multi-year plan in March, 2016 to boost sales at existing Fiat dealerships by reducing fees, simplifying it’s lineup and increasing incentives to customers. Initial dealer response has been positive, but the proof will be in the 2016 sales numbers.
Wrapping it up
While the Fiat-branded cars continue to gain a foothold in the US, it’s looking like Fiat-Chrysler will continue riding the mojo of the Chrysler brand automobiles at least for the short term. That being said, we feel like Fiat has a strong plan in place, they’re proving they can react to changing markets, and that is why they are going to remain a strong player in the automotive game for years to come.