Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is Gone, Replaced by Stellantis
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and Peugeot (Groupe PSA) completed their merger on Saturday, January 16. The combined companies form Stellantis, the fourth-largest automaker in the world.
The brands will live on, for now. Chrysler continues with the 300 sedan, Pacifica minivan, and Voyager minivan. In the U.S. market, Stellantis trims Fiat to just the 500X crossover SUV for 2021, which is a possible signal that this Italian brand could soon exit American shores.
Peugeot also continues, and Stellantis plans to return the brand to U.S. showrooms by 2026. Other Groupe PSA nameplates include Citroën, DS, Opel, and Vauxhall.
Jeep is a Stellantis crown jewel. Ram Truck is also a profit powerhouse. Alfa Romeo and Maserati have struggled in America, but both are likely to continue, especially given the resilience of luxury vehicles during the global pandemic. Alfa Romeo was one of just four brands to increase its U.S. sales in 2020.
Like Chrysler and Fiat, Dodge’s lineup shrivels with the deaths of the Grand Caravan minivan and Journey crossover SUV. Dodge now sells the Challenger, Charger, and Durango, mainly on the strength of their V8 engines and muscular performance. The cars are ancient by industry standards, the Charger’s bones dating to 2006 and the Challenger mostly the same as it was in 2008.
What happens next is anyone’s guess, but Chrysler, Dodge, and Fiat seem not long for this world. Shrinking lineups suggest as much, but the clearest signal is the new 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L.
Currently, the Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee share a platform and powertrains. For 2021, the Durango gets a new dashboard, a new Uconnect 5 infotainment system, and a limited-production SRT Hellcat version making 710 horsepower.
Meanwhile, the Jeep is getting a complete redesign. The 3-row Grand Cherokee L arrives mid-year as a 2021, and then the 5-passenger version will be available for the 2022 model year.
This approach to its midsize SUVs certainly suggests that Stellantis will nurse its blue-collar brand along until Dodge Muscle plays completely out.
Stellantis and trusted sources are the sources of information for this article, as well as some speculation by the author. It was accurate on January 17, 2021, but it may have changed since that date.