There has been a lot of change lately at Fiat-Chrysler as they’ve been reconsidering much of their five-year plan to compensate for the way the market has changed. While many of the major milestones they hoped to hit are still in place, little ones have been being made. Mainly it seems that there was no way to see just how popular Jeep was going to grow; that it would have such an explosion of popularity. Because of this, many resources have been diverted into keeping the Jeep enthusiasm. What may have this affected?
Automotive News has put out an article stating the upcoming Dodge Journey will still be keeping its older platform. It seemed like the Journey was due for something new, but Dodge is keeping things the same for the immediate future. This decision is set to be till the 2018 model year when the Journey may get that new platform.
This is all according to an un-named source, so take it with the grain of salt that comes with such news. It is certainly plausible. Dodge is making a shift to being the place for premium driving experiences, focusing much of their energy on performance, as seen in the Hellcat Charger and Challenger. It is possible that they have putting off an update to the Journey and other vehicles that use the platform to give them some wiggle room in development.
The future is bright at Fiat-Chrysler, no matter how you look at it. While it may take some time, I do see the Journey getting some loving attention that it deserve, it just needs time to get the dedicated care.
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When Chrysler put out their five year plan, one of the most noticeable things that would be happening was the Dodge Grand Caravan would be getting benched. The reason, at the time, was that Chrysler wanted to do less in the brand family to compete against each other. Rather than have multiple minivans, they would concentrate on a single one. The winner of the minivan segment was the Chrysler Town & Country, meaning the Grand Caravan would be no more after 2016. However, Automotive News stumbled across a production document that shows the Grand Caravan may have some life left in it.
The memo states that the Grand Caravan is still planned for 2017, being produced along with the redesigned Town & Country. The new Town & Country is set to start its production at the Windsor, Ontario plant on Feb. 29th 2016. The 2016 Grand Caravan is slated to start this August and to end production in August 2016. The 2017 model of the Grand Caravan will then be almost immediately put into production on August 23rd, 2016.
Since the 2016 run will be brief, there is no slated changes for the newer Grand Caravan models.
Why does it seem that Dodge is going back on their plan to no longer produce the minivan? Automotive News thinks it may have to do with wanting to make sure there is no market loss as the company shifts over to the Town & Country. With the short production life, it may give Dodge the chance to cut production depending on how things go. It will also allow the Grand Caravan to continue to sell in Canada where it is the number 1 selling minivan.
Autoblog thinks that a hatch-back version may be coming in the near-future. Their reasoning behind this is that Fiat sells a version of the Dart known as the Viaggio. It will be getting a hatchback version soon and it makes sense for the Dart to get one here as well back in the States.
The Viaago hatchback has been confirmed by the general manager of China Guangzhou-Fiat John Burton. It will likely be unveiled towards the end of this year. Since it’s not a definite as of yet, it’s not known if the Dart will use the same body style or something similar.
The official stance of Dodge at the moment is that there are “no plans at this time.”
A Dart hatchback would be a welcomed addition to the line-up. It would seemingly take the place of the Caliber. Be interested to see if this is going to be the case.
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Sergio Marchionne, Chrysler’s CEO, is putting up a one-of-a-kind Dodge up for auction. His customized 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 will be available to bid upon at the Barrett-Jackson event April 4th through the 6th.
The Challenger is simply amazing. It’s the kind of beast you’d expect from someone at the head of Chrysler. Marchionne had it given a black paint job along with “Dark Charcoal” racing stripes. Proving that it’s good to be the kind, those stripes were put on by the hands of the SRT studio and painters from the Chrysler Group’s Product Design Office.
According to Edmunds, the people putting this together for the CEO wanted the special Challenger to have “a sinister look from every angle, so the tailamps have been “smoked” and the iconic 392 Hemi fender badges have been re-created in gloss and satin black finishes.”
Chrysler will also be throwing in the latest crate engine from Mopar, the 540-horsepower Hemi V8, along with the car to the winner. The custom Challenger also comes with a Mopar-adjustable coil-over suspension kit and exhaust system. The wheels are 20-inch and finished in matte black.
To top it all off, Marchionne made sure to include his autograph on the car. The proceeds from the auctioning off will be going to the United Way for Southeastern Michigan.