Marchionne Says Next-Gen Ram on Sale January 2018
200 Discontinued Earlier Than Expected, 300 Could Go Front-Drive
Just as much of the rest of the automotive industry is investing billions in developing electric and hybrid technology for passenger cars, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is making a contrarian play by making an ever-stronger commitment to trucks and SUVs. Reuters reports that FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said the next-generation Ram fullsize truck would be on the market by January 2018. The report claims Ram trucks were the source of nearly 90 percent of the company’s first-quarter profit. After previous reports of the production of the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart sedans being outsourced to a partner manufacturer, Marchionne announced that production of the 200 would cease by the end of 2016 or by early 2017.
Interestingly, Marchionne also hinted that the next-generation Chrysler 300 fullsize sedan could share its underpinnings with the recently introduced Pacifica minivan and could be manufactured at the high-volume Windsor, Ontario, plant. The current 300 is built in Brampton, Ontario, along with the Dodge Charger and Challenger. Those three vehicles are based on a legacy rear-wheel-drive Mercedes-Benz chassis developed during the DaimlerChrysler era. He also clarified the timeframe for the model changeovers at several of FCA’s U.S. plants, including the transition of the Cherokee from Toledo, Ohio, to Belvidere, Illinois, which currently builds the Dodge Dart.