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Multiple new Fiat Chrysler models delayed
By Derek Fung, CarAdvice.com.au • 04/06/2015
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is delaying the all-new or redesigned versions of some of its most iconic vehicles, such as the Chrysler 300 and Jeep Grand Cherokee as the company moves to shift its resources elsewhere.
Sources have informed Reuters that the Italian-American car maker is delaying work on some of its North American-made models as it concentrates on its upcoming relaunch of Alfa Romeo, which is set to get a brand new range of rear-wheel drive vehicles. In 2014 Sergio Marchionne, CEO of FCA, took the unusual step of outlining his company's five-year model plan to investors and the press.
According to that plan, Alfa Romeo will introduce a rear-wheel drive sedan to challenge the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class around the middle of 2015. By the end of 2018, a larger 5 Series-size sedan will have joined the range, as well as two SUVs — one splitting the difference between the BMW X3 and X5, and the other much larger.
Suppliers told the newswire that Alfa may roll out its products sooner than anticipated and may also be adding additional vehicles to its lineup. To compensate for FCA's aggressive focus on Alfa, many of its others brands, including Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Maserati and Ram, will have new and revised models delayed.
Some delays are fairly minor. For example, the next-generation Ram 1500 pickup has shifted from mid-2017 to late 2017. Similarly, the new Jeep Wrangler has been pushed back from early 2017 to mid-2017. We reported last month that the new Wrangler will have some aluminium panels instead of adopting an all-aluminium structure.
The new-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee and its long-wheelbase, Range Rover-rivalling twin, the Jeep Grand Wagoneer, have seen their debuts moved back a year to late 2017 and 2018, respectively.
New versions of the Dodge Journey and slow-selling Dodge Dart were initially slated to appear in the middle of 2016. Instead they will receive facelifts prior to new models, which may not arrive until 2019 or 2020 at the earliest.
Revised versions of the Chrysler 300, as well as its Dodge Charger and Challenger relations, were set to appear in the second half of 2018, but these are now believed to slipped to 2019 and possibly beyond.