It’s hard to keep track of all of the big news spewing from the FCA offices lately.
Here’s a quick rundown, then we’ll get into more detail:
- FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne is on an intense quest to merge his company with General Motors.
- A new Barracuda is on the way and will wear the Dodge brand. Does Dodge Barracuda have the same ring to it?
- The Alpha Romeo Guilia is coming, too, and will serve as the base for the Barracuda and the new Charger.
- There’s a new truck based on the Wrangler coming.
If your mind hasn’t exploded yet, keep reading.
Marchionne believes that a tie-up with GM would result in massive benefits for both companies. He told Automotive News, by way of The Detroit News:
We’re not talking about marginal improvement in margins. We’re talking about cataclysmic changes in performance, just huge. I’ve gone through product by product, plant by plant, area by area, and I’ve analyzed them all…. I’ve obviously made some arbitrary assumptions about which architectures survive, which engines survive, and the only deal that offers them the same benefits as we potentially get… is us.
Management at GM has rejected the idea, but Marchionne’s public stance could force investors and advisors to open up talks.
In the meantime, we have news that’s much more relevant to car buyers.
The Barracuda name hasn’t seen the light of day in 41 years, but FCA will bring it back as a Dodge convertible. That sounds great on the surface, but initial reports are cause for concern.
The 1999 Charger R/T concept, pictured above, could be the main source of inspiration for the new ‘Cuda and Charger. Why would a modern vehicle look 16 years into the past for design inspiration? I suppose the whole intent of the Barracuda is to harken to days gone by, but that design is better left in 1999.
It’ll be built on the Alfa Romeo Guilia platform, as will the new Charger. It’s great that FCA can use one flexible platform to create numerous vehicles, but in this case it might make more sense to just buy a Guilia, which is guaranteed to be sexy and will be available sometime in the first half of next year.
The Barracuda and Charger will come within the next two years.
And then there’s this:
FCA has decided that a truck based on the Wrangler would be a good idea. Car and Driver said,
Springing from Fiat-Chrysler’s recent dealer meeting, the report says that a Jeep-branded mid-size pickup “could begin production in 2018,” depending on what happens with the Toledo, Ohio, factory that has long been the home of the Wrangler. The report also says the truck would have a short bed and make use of Wrangler suspension bits and powertrains.
Remember the Gladiator concept from 2005? This is one retro look that would still look great today.
Which of FCA’s new vehicles has captured your interest?