What’s the Future for Chrysler and Dodge Under Stellantis?

Stellantis is here, which represents the new name for the newly merged Fiat Chrysler – PSA Groupe entity. Headquartered in the Netherlands, with regional headquarters in Michigan, Italy, and France, this automaker controls 14 brands. That’s two more than the Volkswagen Group, which previously had the largest portfolio.

Although just finalized in January 2021, the new company is working diligently to shape its future. That future will follow the exacting scrutiny of each brand and its place in the Stellantis universe.

Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram

Chrysler Pacifica
The Pacifica/Voyager is one of two Chrysler models left.

Of the American brands, Chrysler and Dodge are the most vulnerable at this point. Ram and Jeep, the other two domestic brands, are in excellent shape. Both have a clear mission and will likely supply huge profits for Stellantis.

There has been much speculation about the future of Chrysler and Dodge, but already the two brands have received some good news. The company’s CEO, Carlos Tavares, recently toured North America and said that Chrysler, along with the Fiat and Peugeot brands, represents the “three pillars” of the new company or the hallmarks of American, Italian, and French heritage as reported by the Detroit News.

Chrysler and Fiat are considered among the most vulnerable of the 14, with Peugeot’s place secure. However, Peugeot’s plans to return to the U.S. have already been scuttled.

Yours truly immediately after our Uwharrie adventure concluded.

Chrysler and Technology

The Chrysler brand is a shell of its former self. It’s comprised of two models: the Pacifica minivan and the 300 large sedan. The Pacifica rolled out in 2017, while the 300 in its present form is a decade old. Tavares indicated Chrysler will receive new products, which is the best endorsement yet for this near century-old marque.

Tavares also indicated that Chrysler might once again become a showcase for American technology as it once was. Specifically, it might become the leader of autonomous vehicles, zero-emission vehicles, and connectivity reports . Notably, with the Pacifica Hybrid, the brand has already served as a testbed for autonomous vehicles, including for Waymo.

Dodge Performance

Dodge’s place also seems secure, with Stellantis describing it as its “performance brand.” The Charger and Challenger, like the Chrysler 300 are aged models, but both provide an important halo for the brand.

Dodge’s remaining product line includes the Durango, a model that shares its bones with the Jeep Grand Cherokee. With a new Grand Cherokee on the way, the Durango may see a similar revision. That’s important as the product portfolio lost the Grand Caravan minivan the Journey crossover this past year.

The soul of the Dodge brand is its supercharged Hellcat V8 engine, developed by SRT. SRT, by the way, is a casualty of the merger as the department has been disbanded and its engineers dispersed among other brands according to Motor1.com.

All three Dodge models utilize the Hellcat engine, but its future is limited as emissions regulations continue to tighten. Instead of utilizing the Hellcat engine to provide range-topping performance, Stellantis might add electrification to a V6 engine to achieve similar results.

Eventually, the performance models might yield a pure-electric variant, which could provide similar results on its own.

The Hellcat as we know it isn’t likely to survive much longer.

Good-Bye, Peugeot

Peugeot’s return to the U.S. will not happen. The brand had plans to establish a dealer network to sell its vehicles stateside over the next few years, but the Stellantis merger killed that initiative. Similarly, Fiat may eventually retreat from the domestic market as it comes under review. Its U.S. sales have been paltry since its return a decade ago.

Without Peugeot-badged models present in the U.S. market, Stellantis might tap the PSA’s three core brands – Peugeot, Citroen, and DS — to expand the Chrysler and Dodge portfolios. Stellantis could simply rebadge some models or utilize existing platforms to create new product lines.

Another option is to turn to Opel/Vauxhall to supply some vehicles as these brands once did for Buick when they were owned by GM.

Looking Ahead

All in all, the future for Jeep and Ram looks bright, while Chrysler and Dodge will need fresh roadmaps to help point the way forward. We think we’ll get an idea in the next few months of how that will transpire or at least a general framework for Stellantis to work with.

See Also – Stellantis Logo Revealed by Peugeot, Fiat Chrysler Ahead of Spring Merger

Photos copyright Auto Trends Magazine. All rights reserved.

Matthew Keegan

2 thoughts on “What’s the Future for Chrysler and Dodge Under Stellantis?”

  1. when Lee Iacocca stepped in as ceo of Chrysler some years ago he had a big job ahead and i knew it…I helped out with suggestions and advice that Lee followed well…one was revitalizing the 5 year 50,000 warranty..other things like building viable economy cars after the oil embargo put Chrysler back on the map…with a modest loan from the government that was paid back well ahead of time we designed and built the K car line that was a big success….many other Chrysler cars were built using basic K car bodies and engines….Lee invited me to many Chrysler functions and i had the honor of speaking at them….Tom Polcari


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